Full weak. Could use prayer!

Mundeleinday3-63Team PerryBoilerRoom, I need you to drop everything, read this post, and pray.  This dude needs help!  I’m looking at a ridiculous week.  A trip to Columbia tomorrow for a faculty outreach consultation.  On to Kansas City for a Staff Recruiting event.  Back home Sunday to rest up for a major medical procedure to fix my A-Fib on Tuesday!  I’m hoping I make it to Thanksgiving in one piece!  Here’s the play by play.

E-Champ Coaching

I am coaching an InterVarsity staff member at Mizzou who leads a Faculty fellowship of about 20.  It’s one of my jobs as a Regional E-Champ specialist (think cape, mask and tights – you know, the Evangelator).  They are vision casting and planning around a major outreach event next spring on their campus.  I’ll be doing some teaching and training with their leaders in hopes of developing their evangelistic fruitfulness.  Ok, no tights after all.


Saturday and Sunday I’ll be joining the undergrad ministry in my area for PSW.   There are at least 29 acronyms for PSW on the internet.  No, PSW in IVCF doesn’t mean:  Psychiatric Social Worker.  Not, Peachtree Symphonic Winds.  Not even Pumpspeicherkraftwerk (no kidding).  PSW stands for Prospective Staff Weekend.  I’ve been invited to team up with the undergrads in this staff recruiting effort.  I’ll be leading a manuscript bible study and helping with a session on InterVarsity’s vision.  Pray for Matt and Damon – two of several people us GFM staff have invited to the event.  Pray for everyone attending (the rest are a mix of recent IV alum, graduate students and maybe a few soon to graduate seniors).  Could InterVarsity staff be God’s call on their vocational future? Click here to view the  PSW 2019 Staff Schedule.

Up, up and away… on my beautiful cryo-ballon.

I am having a procedure done on my heart to repair a 13 year long problem I have had with Atrial Fibrillation.  Ever heard of that?  It’s an arrhythmia in the top half of the heart.  When I’m stuck in A-fib, the top half of my heart is beating out of sync with the bottom half of my heart.  It’s not life-threatening.  It is a risk-factor for stroke, though.  I’ve been experiencing more frequent and longer episodes.  Medication is not sufficiently controlling it.  The ablation is a surgical procedure done via a catheter inserted though the veins in my legs.


If you want a short non-cringy video click here.

If you want Dr. Wilbur Su to explain it in more detail including risk factors…  here’s your video (7+ mins long).  Heart guys like purple shirts I guess!  According to Dr. Su here’s how you should pray:

  1. Accurate mapping of my left and right Atria.  Dr. Jeffery Mahoney (the guy doing my procedure here at Methodist in Omaha) told me he takes about 90 minutes using the catheter to map the inside of my heart so he knows where all the extra electricity is hanging out and causing problems.  The procedure is another 2-3 hours after that.
  2. For Dr. Mahoney to be on his Tuesday morning A-Game!  What’s that guy do if he’s gotta use the restroom half way through?
  3. The proper dosage of cryo-energy when freezer-burning my pulmonary veins.  3 minutes might do.  5 minutes might be too much.
  4. No damage to my esophagus.  They stick a long meat thermometer (not exactly) down my throat to measure the temperature of my esophagus.  Ever eaten ice-cream too fast and gotten that splitting headache feeling way down at the back of your throat?  Bingo!
  5. No damage to my phrenic nerve.  You know what this thing is.  That’s the nerve that’s going crazy when you have the hiccups.  No kidding!  If they can fix my A-fib, I guess I could live with hiccups for the rest of my life!
  6. No fistula – I’ll let you research that one!  It doesn’t sound good.

Give me your best this week!  Prayers.  Text me!  Tell me how much you love me.  And pray for my family.  I’ll try to keep you posted.  It’s supposed to be an out-patient procedure.  My hope is to be with my kids in Urbana, Illinois for Thanksgiving!  We’ll see.

Full weak – exactly how I meant to spell it.  Next Tuesday, Nov 26th at 9:00 am,  I get the chance to embrace how fragile I am as I look up at that face behind the mask telling me, “Count backwards from 100.”  Thanks for your prayers!

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That’s a Wrap, Iowa!

smokey row

three stars



This post is coming to you live from St. Louis.  I’m on a three day visit to spend time with staff I supervise, connect with a GSF at Washington University and to work on staff recruiting needs here in town.  But… all that said, let me get to some unfinished business from my Iowa visit.  Let’s see, where was I?  The rest of the line up:  Smokey Row, The Stompin Grounds and Z’mariks.

Universities have connections with each other not only in sports conferences, but their academic departments too.  Creighton and Drake are a little like that.  Drake University has recently added Occupational Therapy to its College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  Many of its new faculty and staff were formerly connected to Creighton’s School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.  A recent Creighton grad I posted about last spring has located in Des Moines as a new OTD – Caroline.  She actually has two jobs – one in clinical care the other in home health.  She’s very ambitious!

smokey row des moinesI met up with Caroline at Smokey Row.  I had the turkey panini in case you’re curious.  But the really interesting thing is Caroline’s sense of mission.  Within weeks of arriving in Des Moines, she’d connected with other Creighton OTDs as well as the undergrad InterVarsity staff.  “I thought it would be good to just start meeting OT students at Drake.  When they find out you’re from Creighton, they’re excited to meet you.  OT at Creighton has an incredible reputation.”

“So how did you meet OT students at Drake, Caroline”?

“It’s easy, they all like to hang out at the same coffee place.”  [You guessed it.  Smokey Row!]  “Liz and I prayer-walked the campus and ended up at Smokey Row.”

The Apostle Paul’s got nothing on Caroline.  If you recall his prayer walk through Athens (Acts 17) took him to the agora.  Caroline is writing her own book of Acts when you stop to think about it.  Pray for Caroline as well as every other professional student/alum you can think of as God places them in their first jobs.  Caroline’s vision for ministry is rooted in her vocational calling to Occupational Therapy.  “I want to work for five years, then teach, then be a department chair.”  Did I mention that she’s very ambitious!

Starbucks.  Dr. Timothy Welty

Before I left town, I got to meet up with a terrific InterVarsity alum who just so happens to teach in the Drake College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  Tim Welty has a thick connection with InterVarsity.  His first contact with IV was at Butler University where did Pharmacy school.  InterVarsity continued to cross his path numerous times.  He’s been a significant ministry partner everywhere he and his family have lived.

Part of my desire to meet him was to help Caroline connect with his department at Drake.  Graduate Faculty Ministries till now has had no presence at Drake.  My suggestion was for Dr. Welty to collect a few other Christian faculty at Drake and meet up with Caroline for prayer and vision casting.  Maybe I got to witness the unofficial birthplace of a new GFM group in the coming days!  Pray for Caroline.  Pray for Timothy Welty.  Pray for GFM at Drake University!

Stompin Grounds

My last day.  Got to connect with another one of Tom’s faculty friends back up in Ames.  Don Beitz teaches micro-biology and food science.  Iowa State University is home to the Norman Borlaug World Food Prize.  Each year the winning scientist is invited back to ISU for the Borlaug Lecture.  Wouldn’t you know that Don knows many of the World Food Prize recipients including David Beckman.  I got to be a part of Tom and Don’s first conversation about bringing David Beckman to ISU next spring.  I’ll keep you posted on what takes shape in the coming months.

two stars

If it wasn’t for my last food stop on the way home to Omaha, I would have ended on a pretty disappointing culinary note.  Stompin Grounds barely squeaked out two stars!  And that’s only because Tom and Don had much better looking breakfasts than I did.  Thank you Z’marik’s for being an easy off/on from I-80 and for having not only great noodle bowls, but good salads!  Got my digestion back to three stars before I made it home!

This just in.  I’m on my today from St. Louis to Lawrence, then to Omaha tonight.  My dinner stop with my staff member at KU will go down at The Salty Iguana!

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Christian Faculty on Secular Campuses


Parks Library – new addition

Day two landed me at Parks Memorial Library at Iowa State University – Ames.  My staff member Tom scheduled an appointment for me with one of his colleagues in a cubical.  We drank library coffee (yes, it was as bad as it sounds – I’ll save my stars for CornBred).  Marcia Prior-Miller is a Christian faculty member in the journalism department.  Marcia, if you read this, I apologize for every instance of bad grammar and sub-par journalism you’ll find at perryboilerroom.com!  Tom Ingebritsen is on staff at ISU with Graduate Faculty Ministries.  I supervise Tom.  As a retired biology professor, he is the perfect person to carry the mission of GFM to other faculty.  He’s loaded with decades of street cred.  Tom is ancient and nearly omniscient about the faculty body at ISU.  Tom, likewise I apologize for references to your age – they come with no hint of disrespect.

Click here to be taken to InterVarsity’s Faculty Ministry Website

Emeritus status now for several years, Tom has taught a senior seminar class called Christianity and Science.  The class is capped at 17 students.  He’s taught it dozens of times since retiring.  The class always has a waiting list.  Tom is not only ancient, he’s still “got game”!  People love his class whether they are Christians or not.  Tom has an extensive network of faculty he keeps up with.  Marcia is one of his pillars.  I got to hear Marcia’s story.  She sketched her academic career and her spiritual timeline together for me in about 45 minutes over our library coffee.  Her story was waaaay better than the coff… (dang, I said I wouldn’t rate the coffee).

Marcia has informally led a growing group of faculty women at ISU over the past twenty years!  It started with people who took initiative with her then the baton fell to her hand.  A group of six women (sometimes more, sometimes less) meets regularly for prayer, discussion, bible study and support.  Marcia remembers her early days of teaching and working on her PhD at the same time.  Connections with other Christian women in the academy was a lifeline for her.  Pray for faculty members like Marcia and Tom as they look for ways to be missional and pass on their ministry DNA.  Pray for graduate students and young faculty to find mentors.

Below are a couple of articles you might find interesting.  Explore the GFM website while you’re there.  Pass on what you find to others who would find it helpful.  Most importantly, if you know Christian faculty members that InterVarsity should reach out to – would you be willing to connect them to me via email?  I can further introduce them to Graduate Faculty Ministries and connect them to others!  Thanks.

Andy Crouch article at The Well:  What I wish my Pastor knew about the life of a Scientist.

A word from Kathy Tuan-MacLean – GFM’s National Faculty Ministry Coordinator:  Every Campus Deserves Praying Faculty

cornbredAfter Tom and I had spent an hour with Marcia, we were hungry for lunch.  Tom took me to  CornBred BBQ.  The name doesn’t register till you see it spelled out.  If your default impression of the great state of Iowa is hilly cornfields and smelly cattle?  You’d be 97% right.  I can’t really give you the rating for Corn Bred based on what I had:

COUNTRY FIELDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $13   Baby Kale, Arugula, Frisee, Maytag Bleu, Blackberries, Bing Cherries, Spiced Almonds, Cornbread Croutons, Honey Lemon Vinaigrette.

It would be unfair.  Who goes to a barbecue restaurant and orders salad?  So I’ll just have to extrapolate based on Tom’s order: Pork Spare Ribs.  Highest I’ll venture trusting someone else’s taste buds?


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