Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation, 2016 Recap

Below are PDF file links of our 2016 recap from Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation. The PDF highlights quotes from current student-athletes who shared with us what God is teaching them through sport and spiritual formation.

Click here to see our 2016 Fall Update: sf-fall-update-2016

Click here to see our 2016 Summer Update: sf-summer-update-2016

Click here to see our January 2016- May 2016 Spring Semester Recap:
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Praising Jesus for how He changes lives!!

To learn more about Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation, visit our website or continue to look at more stories on this blog, and our digital brochure.  If you would like to gift any year end funds to Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation, click here: https://secure.lipscomb.edu/gift, designate area “Athletics- University” and then designate “Athletics Spiritual Formation.” Thank you in advance for joining our team, and being apart of what God is doing here!

Thank you so much for visiting our blog, and reading about the stories of our team!  We are grateful for you.

Blessings,
Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation Team

This is My Calling: Jewell Dobson, Lipscomb Volleyball

Jewell Dobson from Lipscomb University Volleyball team shares about her ACL injury and how her identity in being a student-athlete was challenged and later transformed.

 

Growth Through Injuries: Kendra Weitz

Many athletes have experienced it: the heartbreak that comes with injury. The inability  to train, bond with the team, or feel the hard-earned satisfaction that comes with competing often times leaves athletes feeling dejected and frustrated. Many times, injured athletes even feel a sense of loss in their lives.

This, however, is not the end of the story.

Today we are featuring junior track and cross country redshirt sophomore, Kendra Weitz. Kendra is a distance runner from Spokane, Washington. In high school, she was a prestigious Footlocker National Finalist and held many other accomplishments in the sport. Since coming to college, however, she has been plagued by a string of injuries that have kept her from training or competing consistently. Kendra is an active leader in FCA and is known for her relentlessly positive attitude and faith in the Lord.

This is her story…

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God has always been an important part of my life…So has running. I started running when I was in third grade but it wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I realized running had begun to consume me more than the God I claimed to serve.

From the beginning I knew I had talent as a runner. The more confidence I gained, the more driven I became to actualize my potential. My sophomore year of high school was a big year for me. In the fall my brother and I made it to a national cross country meet and during track my 3200 time was one of the top in the nation. But I knew there was still more in me. Nothing was going to stop me. Some days I would wake up at 5:30 to swim laps before school for extra training. Then I’d run the regular workouts with the team after school. I made assumptions about what the future would hold for me, like going to a Division 1 university with a national caliber team. I told myself I would break ten minutes in the 3200 by my senior year. What was stopping me? Nothing…nothing as far as I could tell.

My junior year of high school was another story altogether. From then until now, as a junior in college, my story has taken many twists and turns I could have never predicted (and never would have wanted to). If I told you all of the health issues and injuries I have had to overcome in the last four and a half years you may not believe me, or you may think I am a hopeless cause (I must admit I have thought that at times). And for the purpose of not writing a book, I will leave those things out for now. But the more important thing that has happened to me during this journey has nothing to do with my physical abilities or limitations but has everything to do with who I have become spiritually.

For some reason, as humans, adversity is the thing that helps us grow. In the face of hardship it is easy to shake our fists at God wondering what we ever did to deserve it. I did that for a little while. I knew he ‘had a plan’ for me and all (Jeremiah 29:11, and Isaiah 55:8-9), but why was all of this necessary? Hadn’t I learned enough the first round of hardship? Did I really need ten more obstacles to grow closer to him? Being grounded in the truth of scripture my whole life, it was easy for me to know the truth but it took me a while to completely grasp the truth about God and his goodness.

A couple years into my journey I finally began to understand God’s desire for me (and for everyone else) did not include suffering. He only wished for me to have the fullness of life he provides.

John 10:10 says that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but God has come so that we may have life and life to the full.

There is a thief among us. His name is Satan. Unfortunately, he does have power in this world. Satan’s goal is to get as many people as possible to stop believing in God. He attempts to do this by robbing us of the good things God has given us through destruction, pain, and death. And while the devil may be plotting against us and God’s plan, God remains purely good.

God is the one who set the world in motion. He made this earth and the universe just right so that we can live in it. That’s how important we are to him. He put the breath in our lungs. He gave us family, friends, and food. He made us with abilities and passions. He has an incredible plan for our lives completely separate from anything bad. But because there is evil, he has to adapt his plan. God is so powerful that when the enemy tries to thwart his plan for us, God can turn evil on its head and weave it back into his beautiful plan…Now that’s pretty remarkable.

We have the ability to choose what we believe from day to day. In my hardships I could have stopped believing in God’s goodness and his plan. I could have accepted the devil’s whisperings that I am a failure, that God is doing this to me, and that I will never reach the end. That would have led to hopelessness. And I have to admit, I have almost been there at times.

But instead, in the darkness I tried to hold onto that little light I knew; that if I persevered through that time God had something greater than I could imagine in store for me. That’s not to say that the darkness doesn’t suck, but it is easier when you know where to fix your eyes. Isaiah 55:8-9 has been my anthem verse,

“For your thoughts are not my thoughts, declares the Lord. Neither are your ways my ways. For as high as the heavens are above the earth so are my thoughts greater than your thoughts and my ways than your ways.”

God proved this verse to be true when he brought me to Lipscomb. For years I had envisioned going to public, Division 1 university with a national caliber women’s cross country team. Due to health issues my senior year of high school, my vision for the future was completely in the air. Not only was my college running career in question but even going to college, something that had always been definite in my mind, started to become a question mark. With the help of medicine, my health improved, I even turned around to the point that I was able to run again. At that time one of the only coaches talking to me was my now coach, Coach Taylor. After speaking with him and visiting Lipscomb I realized it was where I needed to be. Coach Taylor gave me the chance to run for a Division 1 university; something I once saw as a given, and now see as an incredible blessing. God’s plan to bring me to Lipscomb was not mine. But it has been better than the plan I had imagined.

I wish I could say that my physical battles ended after high school, but that unfortunately is not the case. I have continued to have my fair share of adversity in college. I can’t say I have contributed much athletically to my team by any means, but I am grateful my identity is not contingent upon who I am as a runner. Rather, my identity is found in the One who gave me the ability to run. Running is not my own, I never earned it. And now when I run I wish to gratefully offer it as my gift back to God. This is how it should be with anything God has blessed us with.

While I wish so much to be competitive again and it looks as if I am headed that direction, God has showed me that his place in my story is not on the sidelines cheering me on and helping me be who I want to be. He is a part of my story as the Author; the one who is actively involved in my life; the one who has planned out my story, creating me to be the person He wants. Pain is necessary in this story or growth does not happen. While God is not the pain, he is present in the pain. My story has been about seeking God’s goodness despite suffering. He is fully good and I know his plans are still to prosper.

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Written By: Kendra Weitz, Lipscomb WXCT

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Twitter @LipscombFCA
Instagram @LipscombBisonsSF
Website http://www.lipscombsports.com/spiritual-formation/

Radical Community

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Lipscomb Women’s Soccer Team in El Salvador on their Spring Break Mission Trip

This post is written by Kelsey Fenix, a Lipscomb Athletics Associate Head Coach for Women’s Soccer. El Salvador 2016 recap – Radical Community:

I often think to myself “I have the best ‘job’ in the world.”

Our trip to El Salvador further confirmed my feelings about what I get to do here at Lipscomb, as a soccer coach.

Our staff has a passion to mentor our team, to challenge them, to encourage them, and create an environment for growth & thriving. As we seek to do this, I am finding that this team is actually doing that for me.

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Brooke, Anna, Niamh, Jacey, Coach Kelsey  (Left to Right)

Our final evening in El Salvador was a time of worship and sharing about “what only God can do / has done.” I shared about a story in Mark 2: 1-11. This is a story of four men with great faith that drag their friend (a paralytic), to the feet of Jesus because they know he is the only one who heals and saves to the depth that we are in need of healing and saving. They have to push their way through a huge crowd and climb a roof and then lower this man into the house where Jesus is preaching. After Jesus heals the man, the crowd says, “We never saw anything like this!”

The crowd was in awe of the power of Jesus, and as I read this passage the other night, I couldn’t help but wonder if the crowd was in awe of these four men, too; their tenacity; their perseverance; their LOVE… all for the sake of a brother.

What I saw in my team last week in El Salvador is the same thing I see in these four men: A community of people that are changing and impacting everyone they come into contact with.

 

This isn’t limited to our time in El Salvador. I see this type of community here in Nashville with this team, on and off the soccer field. This team is different, and last week I was honored to see an even closer look into what God is doing in and through these young women.

A few of them had the courage to share their stories with us. After each story, there were tears of pain, hurt, abandonment, and abuse. Yet there was something else in the tears. Something even more powerful. There was hope and light and redemption.

The pictures below show four of our players who decided to be baptized on our last day in El Salvador. Pictured left to right, Coach OB, Justis, Anna, Lindsay, Dom, and Coach Kelsey. An incredibly joyful moment!


These stories are a glimpse into the Bigger Story that God is writing. These stories – and there are more – changed me. These stories are changing this team. These stories are changing everyone they come into contact with. These stories are opening doors to more freedom. These stories are creating a team culture of love, authenticity, vulnerability, hope, and joy.  As I stand in the crowd watching (and, thankfully, I get a front row seat!) I see hearts being changed and I hear whispers of “we’ve never seen anything like this!”

 

Written By: Kelsey Fenix, Lipscomb Women’s Soccer Associate Head Coach

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This is the fourth year in a row that Lipscomb Women’s soccer has returned to El Salvador on a mission trip.  To read more about Lipscomb’s women’s soccer mission trip to El Salvador this year, visit this link and click on the daily recaps 1-6 to read about each day’s happenings written by different players: http://www.lipscombsports.com/wsoccer/news/

Follow us:
Twitter @LipscombWsoc
Website http://www.lipscombsports.com/wsoccer/

Man Time.

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This evening of Man Time is scheduled usually around Valentine’s Day week, and playfully has adopted the nick-name “Male-entine’s” since the ladies event is called “Gal-entine’s.”  Man Time: a night full of all things manly.

Man Time is an evening set apart for the fellas to gather and enjoy Kan Jam, Nintendo 64, corn hole, pizza, friendship, and Jesus. It was a time to come and hear what it means to be a man of Jesus in our world today, regardless of the definition the world offers.

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Corey Toy, speaker at Man Time.

Corey Toy, a former Ohio State and professional hockey player shared his incredible story of redemption and forgiveness. Corey was the speaker for the evening, and he lives out what it looks like to be a Godly man. He spoke truth into the men gathered at FCA, talking about the men God calls us to be, rather than what the world tells defines as a “man.” He shared countless stories of men throughout the Bible who were fierce warriors, yet displayed true power by selflessly giving their lives away, fully surrendered to the plans of the Lord. Corey said,

“It’s great to see so many men at Lipscomb passionate about investing in their talents, both as athletes and men. Society has skewed the perception of what manliness looks like. I’m thankful to see men passionate about the Biblical example of manhood we have in Jesus.”

Corey challenged each young man in the room to think about the way they guard and protect the hearts of young ladies through dating, and leading women in their relational lives.  Corey shared the importance of boundaries, and clear communication. After hearing Corey boldly speak truth, each of our hearts and minds were challenged to think about our calling as men.

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Several athletes shared their reflections:

“I thought Man Time was beneficial. Corey was real with us and spoke truth about how to respect and honor girls, that all guys could relate to and need to hear. It was awesome to see how God used his story of brokenness and sin to transform him into a great man of God. Something he said is “its way easier to give in to sexual temptation than to resist” he then quoted some guy saying “sexual restraint rather than sexual prowess was once the measure of a man.”  Cam Botes, Junior, Soccer

 

“I really enjoyed hearing the true unfiltered heart of a man who was healed by God. Corey is an inspiration and it is amazing to see how God can help to pull you out of the deepest holes if you trust in Him and let Him lead you in life. God is always greater and his love is visible in Corey’s life. It was also a great night hanging out and playing games with a bunch of dudes.” Hunter Printz, Junior, Cross Country and Track

 

“Malentines was great. It was a night filled with N64, Buffalo Wild Wings, Kan Jam, and Jesus. I loved how transparent Corey was in sharing his story with everyone and how God has used seasons of his life to bring about growth and restoration. He also spoke about what our society tells us about manliness versus what scripture tells us about being a man of God. I think everyone left encouraged, challenged, and with a fresh perspective on biblical manhood.” -Dalton Keck, Senior, FCA President

 

I loved how transparent the speaker was with us. This was a guy who had a total 180 in what life was all about and meant to him. Being able to make that type of change takes guts and trust in God. I thought his message was a great reminder to be honest with myself and where I’m at knowing that is where God wants to meet me.  A real man does have and does show emotions and I have found that when I share on a deeper level with my friends, those are the relationships that flourish.” Sam Remington, Sophomore, Cross Country and Track

This was a night full of honesty, transparency, brotherhood, laughter, truth, and ultimately revealing the heart of Jesus for each of us as men. We were able to live out the words of Hebrews 13:1, when we are told to “Keep on loving one another as brothers.”

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Written By Lipscomb Spiritual Formation Team Member, Aaron Spragg.

Follow Us:
Twitter @LipscombFCA
Instagram @LipscombBisonsSF
Website: LipscombSports.com

 

 

 

 

 

One City, One God: Nashville FCA’s Gather as One

 

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Student Athletes from four universities gather as one large FCA group.

Last semester in early November,  four of the Nashville Area Division 1 Athletic programs with thriving FCA groups decided to come together for one night of fellowship and worship, and it was an incredible testimony to Jesus and how He unites people regardless of any divisions that our culture may try and set. For the evening, the “Battle of the Boulevard” turned into the “Unity of the Boulevard.”  Lipscomb and Belmont’s student athlete leadership teams from FCA reached out to Vanderbilt’s leadership team, and together decided it would be so cool to come together as “One City, lifting up One God.”

Shaun Dean, the Regional Director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes said,

“It was God’s vision coming alive! Seeing student athletes crush cultural barriers to worship King Jesus together, unified visibly by His Spirit, enjoying life as a family of faith proves to me that the one, true God is bringing a reawakening to Greater Nashville. Let it be Lord, Let it be!”

Following that November evening last semester, it was unanimous amongst all the colleges that we must continue to gather and meet as one, at least one time each semester, if not more during this spring semester.  Additionally we felt it was imperative to invite TSU and make sure they were apart of the evening gatherings as well.  So the planning began, and it was decided before the semester break that we would rotate campuses amongst the colleges as we gathered each time, beginning with meeting at Belmont next.

McCarly Thomas, a Lipscomb Softball player and FCA leader who helped lead this gathering shared that,

“God has completely blown past our expectations for this! There was something so powerful about standing next to our brothers and sisters in Christ who live such similar lives to that of our own, sharing our experiences, and so openly worshiping the same God together.”

Two weeks ago on February 16, it happened again.  The Nashville area of Fellowship of Christian Athletes from Lipscomb, Belmont, Tennessee State, and Vanderbilt University gathered as one body to praise Jesus at Belmont’s Curb Event Center. It was a night of light snacks, fellowship, and worship celebrating what God is doing in each our lives, on all of our college campuses, and uniting to support and encourage one another in our shared faith, in our shared athletics.

Dylan Green from our Lipscomb Men’s Basketball team, and Abby Newby from our Lipscomb Women’s Track & Field team shared this about their evening experience at Belmont,

“I was in awe of how many people from different universities went out of their way to attend the event. I was sure it would only be a handful of people. I was completely wrong. The room was completely filled. The Spirit was present, and I’m excited for the next opportunity for us to gather together in community as the body of Christ.”  – Dylan Green

 


“I was really pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to fellowship with athletes all over Nashville. Sometimes I find it hard to have meaningful conversation with students even from my own school, but when we all came together with a common goal, to glorify the Lord in all things, it was like we already knew so much about each other. And the Lord was definitely present.”  -Abby Newby

 

‘For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’ (Matt. 18:20)

Incredible. These students are seeing that it’s bigger than them. That it is bigger than their team. That it is bigger than their school. That it is bigger than sports in general.  It’s all about Him.  

The city-wide FCA is something that all schools hope to continue and grow. No matter the differences in uniforms worn in competition, the ultimate common bond is a love for Jesus.

“Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.  Psalm 33:1-3

 

#OneWayToPlay   
To learn more about FCA visit: https://www.fca.org/

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Written By Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation

Follow Us:
Twitter: @LipscombFCA
Instagram: @LipscombBisonsSF
Facebook: Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation
Website: http://www.lipscombsports.com/spiritual-formation/

Women’s Soccer Video Recap of their Mission Trip in May of 2015

Sports are an incredible platform to meet new people and bridge the gap of culture differences.  This past May, our Lipscomb women’s soccer team returned to El Salvador for a third year to use soccer as a platform, and allow their lives to be a vessel for the Lord to love on the people of El Salvador.  Their time there, is captured on this video, take the trip with them… watch this.

The Power of Prayer in Lipscomb Athletics

The Power of Prayer

This year we have been very intentional as a department regarding PRAYER. We know God is constantly at work in our lives, and to join in the movement through prayer has been an amazing journey. At the start of the year, we asked coaches, faculty, staff, community members and anyone willing to pray for our student-athletes to participate in a prayer campaign known as “555” . Prayer cards were distributed each containing 5 student-athletes names in which recipients of the cards were asked to pray for the 5 student athletes, 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The stories and testimony of God’s faithfulness have been overwhelming. Below is a short glimpse capture by our very own Steve Drabyn.

Steve writes, “I have been blessed to be on staff as an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Lipscomb University for almost two years. I have had the privilege to work with great people of faith here at Lipscomb, including Director of Spiritual Formation and Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach Chris Klotz. Chris developed prayer cards for our student athletes this past fall. As I’ve grown in my faith, prayer is something I have made an effort to improve upon as I have not always been proactive in my prayer life. I was excited to jump in and pick up a card to pray for 5 of our student-athletes for 5 days out of the week.

One of the student-athletes I pray for is Woman’s Softball player Taylor Neuhart. Once I received my card, I looked up each athlete to find out more information about them. I also started following them on twitter, a social media outlet that I am most active on. I have enjoyed keeping up with these athletes and getting to know them. I was hoping that I would run into them on campus at some point.

The week before finals, I was walking out of the student center and spotted Taylor I thought. I immediately asked her what her name was. As she told me her name, she was very confused as to why I was asking. I told her of the prayer cards and that I had been praying for her during the school year. As I was explaining this to Taylor, I noticed a look of gratitude come across her face. She was so genuinely thankful that a total stranger had been praying for her. We made an instant connection and I am looking forward to growing the relationship with her and the other four student-athletes. I am very thankful to God for building relationships through the power of prayer”

Thank you to the many people who pray for our athletes, coaches, competitions, and department daily. It is clear that God hears the prayers of His people and continues to work faithfully in each of our lives. Intentional Prayer will be a significant part of our athletic department moving forward, and if you would like to be involved in 555, please email Christopher Klotz at cpklotz@lipscomb.edu.

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!

My Life As A Lipscomb Athlete: Alex Newby

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47

 

I came here to Lipscomb four and a half years ago with big hopes and dreams of a successful career running cross country at the division one level. to run cross country and track. After a successful freshman cross country season, I wanted more. I wanted more success, more recognition, and more glory for myself. Now, four and a half years later, my eligibility is finished. I was injured for 75% of my career and received no more personal accolades after that first freshman season. My team went on to win 4 Atlantic Sun championships without me. All glory to Him. And although my running career was not at all what I wanted or expected it to be, the Lord revealed to me that it was exactly what I needed. It is my belief in the truth of God’s sovereignty that I can honestly say, the Lord gave me more. He gave me more of Himself, more of His provision, more of His purpose, and NONE of my own glory – praise Him for knowing me better than I know myself.

During my time here, He has given me so much more. I am not my own. He has provided me with a community that resembles the community described in Acts 2. He has realigned the desires of my heart with His. The people He has provided have reminded me that I have a Hope that will never fade. He has allowed me to still be a part of a team that is completely focused on Him and I’ve gotten to see Him work in some pretty awesome ways in my teammates’ lives. His provisions are unfailing and uninterested in my own selfish desires.

In the past few years, we have been together and we have had everything in common. And by everything, I mean nothing that you would think. Yes, we are all athletes. Yes, we are all at Lipscomb. However, we are from all over the country: Tennessee, Washington, Texas, Hawaii, California, and many other states and even countries. We have completely different home lives. We have different interests, different personalities, different backgrounds, different opinions, and completely different perspectives about the world. But we have Christ. And that is everything. We are all together and we have everything in common.

Coaches have opened up their homes with the intentions of pouring into us as people and as Christians. We have broken bread with glad and sincere hearts. We have praised God from the bottom of our hearts in a freezing cold cave at the FCA retreat and in a dimly lit Allen Arena and around bonfires in the middle of campus.

Let me tell you, it’s not always beautiful, perfect, or even fun. We are carrying each other into the presence of Jesus. We are dragging each other back into God’s good and perfect will for us and away from Satan’s schemes. We are limping along in faith through struggles. And most importantly, we are walking each other HOME.

“I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country; which I shall not find til after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.” -C.S. Lewis

Alex Newby, G.A. Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formations