What a semester and year it has been! We have continued our partnership with Carter Lawrence Elementary after-school sports program with our Lipscomb Athletic teams; we have gone on multiple mission trips; we have grown in community through FCA, Bible studies, and mentoring; and we have seen over 7 student-athletes baptized this spring! Praise Jesus – we are thankful He is about a transformational relationship and uniquely meeting us each where we are!
Click on the link to see our Athletics Spiritual Formation Spring Semester Recap in full: SF SPRING 2017 recap
This summer we are sending multiple teams on mission trips, if you would like to be part of the ‘sending’ team, please join us in praying! Additionally, if you would like to give a financial donation, please click this link: https://www.lipscomb.edu/giving/loose-giving-forms/student-mission-gifts (please note what team, or student-athlete you are desiring to gift).
Lipscomb Teams Going:
Volleyball – Malawi Africa
Women’s Golf- Nicaragua
Softball – Baja City of Children
If you would like to contribute a gift to Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation, that can also be done, and is greatly appreciated! Our entire Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation budget and salaries are fundraised; if you would like to give a gift to this program, please click this link: https://www.lipscomb.edu/gift (select area ‘Athletics-University’ and then designate ‘Athletics Spiritual Formation’).
In advance, THANK YOU!! We are so grateful for the opportunity to share with you the stories that God is writing in and through Lipscomb Athletics. Thank you for partnering with us in prayer, gifts, and support … You are giving to the Lord, and He is changing lives!!! Praise Jesus!
This is our Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation brochure. Take a look through our digital brochure format to learn more about our team, and how you can join us! Click on the play link above and follow the page tabs to turn the page.
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.
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!
Four players decided to be baptized on the coast of El Salvador following their last day of mission work. (Pictured Left to Right: Coach OB, Justis, Anna, Lindsay, Dom, Coach Kelsey)
Coaches with Anna Buhigas following her baptism.
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
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/
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
Chocolate. Sisters in Christ. Truth. Worship. Chocolate. Hope. JESUS.
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”
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!
Sunday evening at Ethos church in Nashville, TN, Kinzie Icayan made the decision of a lifetime. She sat amongst friends and teammates in a joy-filled room and water-filled horse trough professing her faith in Christ as she was baptized.
Kinzie shared: “I have wanted to get baptized for a while but I never felt like I fit the criteria. At Lipscomb especially I felt really incompetent compared to so many other students coming from a strong religious background. I prayed about it for a long time and I got a lot of support from the girls on the team. In the end I found that God didn’t want my competency. I was good enough for Him always even with my imperfections. Looking back now, I know all He has ever wanted was for me to believe that too.”