Newsworthy this week…


Going to be very brief in this post.  This is the thick of my ministry calendar with road trips every week for 4 straight weeks.  Here are a few upcoming events that might be of interest to you.  I’d really appreciate your prayers – especially for Jake’s event at KU in two weeks (see links below) and for my travel.  My four state territory has been a recent favorite of blizzards!

Collegiate Day of Prayer

If you can participate in your locale jump on board!  I’ll be at K-State in Manhattan on Thursday.  Here’s a short video on the history behind the day of prayer movement.  Pray for InterVarsity staff teams and students groups all over the US as we’ll be praying this Thursday on our nation’s campuses.  Check out the EveryCampus website here for details on participating.  At Urbana thousands of students signed up to prayer walk their campuses this year!

Ian Hutchinson at KU – March 7th

Please be in prayer for Jake Evans – GFM staff member at KU in Lawrence.  KU is hosting a Veritas Forum with MIT Plasma-Physicist Ian Hutchinson.  Details are on the posting below as well as at this link.  If you are curious about Dr. Hutchinson here is a video interview with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat.  He talks about his science as well as his Christian faith.

veritas KU Hutchinson

Here are the details on the event itself.  Please pray for Jake’s collaboration on campus as they get the word out in academic departments among faculty and grad students.  We’ll be in touch in between the blizzards!  Thanks for your prayers and support.



New Corners, New Campuses in 2019

R1s Central Area

So what does the 2030 Calling look like in my 4 states?    In the map above, all our large, R1 Institutes are yellow stars.  Clockwise:  Iowa State in Ames, University of Iowa in Iowa City, Washington University in St. Louis, Mizzou in Columbia, Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas State University in Manhattan, and University of Nebraska in Lincoln.  Its strategic for us to develop our work starting with the R1s and working our way outward.  R1s have the most robust graduate programs because they have the most PhD bound students in addition to professional schools (like Medical, Law and MBA programs).  Faculty and Graduate Student work can both thrive at the same time in these contexts.  My current team has strong faculty work in the places we’re located, but not necessarily significant numbers of graduate students.  We also have plenty of room to grow GFM at R2 and R1 schools.  There are no R1 schools in my town, but we do have the beginnings of groups at UNO, UNMC and Creighton.  This spring on my way to my R1s I’ll connect with potential work we have at schools like Drake University and Des Moines Area Community College (faculty groups at these schools).  Mark Hansard, one of my staff in Manhattan leads a bi-weekly bible study group for faculty at Emporia State University.

new campuses

Here’s where we have potential to add groups, staff and volunteers.  I’ll be visiting a recently affiliated faculty group in Columbia.  We have undergraduate InterVarsity at Mizzou, but nothing for faculty and graduate students.  When I stop through in a couple of weeks I’ll be connecting with the faculty group helping casting vision for what it would be like to get a GFM staff member in Columbia and grow grad student groups too.  Lincoln and Ames are in the same situation – all kinds of potential, yet no staff and no groups currently.

mark kate emporia

Mark’s group at Emporia.  Kate is in her 3rd year in Education.  Scott has been at ESU for 35 yrs

My travel schedule this spring

Feb 12-14    Iowa: Des Moines (Drake and Des Moines Area Comm College) Ames (ISU) and Iowa City (Univ of Iowa).

Feb 19-21    Missouri: Columbia (Mizzou) and St. Louis (Wash U, Forest Park Comm College, Lindenwood University)

Feb 27- Mar 1    Kansas: Manhattan (K-State Internationals, Faculty and exploring possible new group in School of Veterinarian Medicine.

Mar 6-7   Kansas: Lawrence (KU is hosting a Veritas Forum with Dr. Ian Hutchinson)

March 26-29    National GFM Staff Conference in Mundelein, Illinois.  I’ll be adding on time for fundraising in the Chicago vicinity.

Apr 23-26   National Evangelism Champions meeting in Southern California


Can I borrow your shoes, Dad?

Silas Student Takeover

Yup, that’s my son on stage in the worship center at Christ Community Church two weeks ago.  Yup, those are my shoes he borrowed that morning.  Silas is 17 years old with a very grown-up mind and some awesome gifts for teaching and communicating.  His high school pastor Brad Mock invited him to team teach the message with him on Student Takeover Sunday.  If you want to catch the whole message you can find it here at this link.

Brad and Silas taught through that passage from Luke about when Jesus got separated for a couple of days from his family while traveling back from Jerusalem.  What do we stand to learn from a young Jesus growing up in a family at a moment when his gifts and calling take him beyond his home?  Silas had some great insights for parents and teens.  Parents have to let go and trust that their kids will be ok when it comes time to grow up.

silas and brad

It was quite a joy watching Silas from the balcony where Cheryl and I were perched.  Yup, that’s our Silas.  Unbelievable.  He’s really growing.  We loved watching so many aspects of his personality come out in his speaking.  He looks totally at home in front of a crowd.  Enjoys humor, even if at Brad’s expense.  He did a great job recreating some of the parental angst Mary and Joseph must have felt when they lost Jesus.  “They didn’t lose just any little kid.  They lost Jesus. You know, the Messiah!  Could you imagine what they might have prayed in their desperation to find him?” … “And have you ever wondered why Jesus wasn’t all that concerned about their understandable frustration?”

atheism books.jpg

Recently I asked Silas if he would help me with my library.  I’ve been finishing some space in my basement in an attempt to retrieve my truck-load of books from the garage.  He unboxed one half of my collection with his broken arm and arranged them on my newly installed shelves.  He noticed my copy of God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens (among the rest of my books on atheism).  “Dad I saw a kid at school with that book.  Who is Christopher Hitchens?”  We’ve had the best conversations lately when I pick Silas up from school.  He’s really leaning into some great questions and wanting deeper than ever answers.  Among his many friends Silas seems to be having a lot of discussions on tough questions.  Here was today’s:  Why didn’t God outlaw all forms of slavery in the Old Testament instead of just regulating it with rules?

For Silas these aren’t just his friends’ questions.  He sees an opportunity to learn things he’s been curious about but hasn’t till now been able to delve into.  3:14 to 3:40 in the afternoon is becoming my favorite part of the day!  Usually we’re still buzzing once we come in from the driveway.  Silas is not only borrowing my shoes, he’ll have no problem filling my shoes as a teacher-evangelist.  Go Silas!

tim at desk

Totally digging having my books back within reach…