No Free-Solo!

Black Mountain Overlook

I hope you had a great time over the Thanksgiving holiday. Cheryl and I got to drive with our Omaha kids to see our Tennessee kids. I think it was one of the best Thanksgiving days ever. No football. No turkey. No cooking! And a nice hike to Black Mountain Look-Out not far from Crossville, TN. My son, his wife and his four year old daughter are all getting into Bouldering! Well, actually top-rope climbing. We drove to the trail. Hiked to the look-out. Then spent a couple hours with a giant boulder!

People who are really experienced, really well equipped and in great shape, could scale a boulder like this no sweat. Not Tim. I was fortunate that Aaron had some climbing harnesses, rope, and a GRIGRI (a cam operated block device for top-roping). Aaron, Savannah and even Poppy all went the entire 50 feet up the face of a massive boulder. Tim went about 20 feet and had to turn around.

Thank You!

Top rope bouldering is a little like ministry. I can only get so far without some focused help to make it safe, productive and fun. I hope you realize that there’s absolutely nothing I can do to reach grad students and faculty members without a ministry that is anchored in prayer. The belay is that person on the bottom holding the rope and GRIGRI. It would just be insane to attempt building fellowships without your attentive contribution making it productive! Every prayer. Every donation. Every time you read, you’re helping me inch my way to accomplish InterVarsity’s mission in the university.

Thank you for letting me know your 2023 support plans.

If you have a quick minute, please swing by the link above and let me know your 2023 plans. I’ve been starting to hear back from supporters and it’s been a huge encouragement. Since I’m working on finding not only repeating gifts from 2022, but also new support that is yet to be given or pledged. Click here to see the details. If you haven’t given to my ministry budget or would like to send a year-end gift, you can use the link below to go to my donation page at InterVarsity.

Click here to be taken to my donation page at InterVarsity.

Have a blessed Advent Season!

More Chads, please!

Another great moment in my local ministry this fall. Last weekend was our last monthly brunch for my professional student group at Creighton. Chad was our guest faculty mentor this month. I first met Chad a number of years ago. Job transition stress drove me to seek help with debilitating shoulder pain. My daughter Phoebe had seen Chad earlier that year (ballet injury). It was an easy recommendation to pursue not only because Chad helped Phoebe get straightened out, but the ATI clinic Chad was in charge of is located less than football field from my house!

Please take a minute and let me know your support plans for 2023. Thanks!

I could tell Chad was a person of faith right away. It came up naturally and easily in conversations about why an unemployed pastor might be in need of therapy to fix frozen shoulder. I was also genuinely impressed with how I saw Chad interacting with other patients in his clinic. “At some point, I should tell this guy what is going on with my transition to IV staff and see if he’d be able to help me.”

The shoulder got fixed in about 2 months. I went on into GFM ministry with a group of PT and OT students at Creighton. I mentioned to Chad that I’d like to have him speak to my students – that is once we started meeting in person again. Saturday’s brunch you might say was 2 years in the making! The best part of the occasion was the way students latched onto EVERYTHING Chad said to them.

We usually spend a few minutes getting settled as we pass brunch dishes around and start downing coffee. These monthly gatherings have worked so well BECAUSE I’ve sought to bring mentors students can converse with (and not experts who lecture to them on Christianity and Medicine). Chad shared about his journey of getting through his DPT program and finding his first few jobs after graduation. He spoke pretty candidly about how his work took on more meaning as he connected it with his faith and “whole life calling.” He talked about how much pressure there was to “bill more, bill more, bill more” in the clinical jobs he had. He contrasted that with the freedom he now feels to work his practice with God’s purposes as the driver.

After we’ve let the guest mentor talk about their faith and practice connection, we just turn students loose on them in a Q/A free for all. No shortage of questions! You can just feel the energy in the room ratchet up. Last Saturday there were mostly first year PT students. They grilled Chad for 45 minutes and seemed to want more when our time ran out.

Help me find more Chads!

Not only did the students savor the open-ended dialogue, Chad also mentioned more than once how much HE needed interaction like this. “This does my faith good. This helps me revisit why my faith matters to my work. It blesses me to see Christian students and get focused time with them.” Chad would come back any time again to keep the conversation going because he could tell it was helping students AND it refreshed him in the process. I think that’s what you’d call a WIN-WIN. Or a slam dunk – pick your sports metaphor. Pray for me to keep this kind of dialogue happening monthly for these professional students. Pray for me to be effective in my networking. Pray for me as I keep taking initiative with students to help them connect and grow spiritually with each other. It’s been a fun season of work right here in my back yard.

As usual, my November and December are strategic months for firming up ministry partnership with friends and donors. If you haven’t yet had a chance to hop on that link above please let me know how you’d like to partner in the coming year. The link ABOVE takes you to my google response form. The link BELOW takes you directly to my donation page at InterVarsity. If you need a refresher about my need, be sure to back up and read my Financial Update Post from November 4th.

Thanks so much!

Our awesome daughter-in-law Haleigh being inducted into the honors society for her program at UNO.


Could everyone please take a seat so we can get started…

Just a few pics from random, recent happenings. I usually don’t do this to my readers, but I thought the pictures would be fun! Last week I spent four days in Colorado at a staff development event called Cultivate. Staff Managers with InterVarsity attend these meetings each fall where we get to connect with all of InterVarsity’s supervisory staff, across the country, no matter what ministry division they serve. The conference was in Denver, but we got to hang out an extra day for team-building in Boulder. I will say the architecture in Boulder was way more interesting than Denver!

2023 Ministry Partnership Form

The track I signed up for was called Chapter Turn Around. We spent our time considering how to help shrinking fellowships revitalize and get on a growth track. Several chapters in my area experienced significant decline during the covid years. Leaders in InterVarsity’s department of Learning and Talent have identified several key strategies including prayer, engaging volunteers, outreach and evangelism and developing student leaders. Sound familiar? It is really an exciting time to be in GFM ministry because there is a definite sense of post-pandemic thaw in the air. Pray for my staff team and I as we lead student and faculty groups into a new season.

If you haven’t had a chance to do so yet, please make your way over to my Ministry Partnership form and let me know how you’d like to be involved in the coming calendar year. Just scroll down to the previous post for the details. Thanks so much!

PS – the bike-seat art display was one of the more interesting features of the Renaissance Hotel in Denver. The incredible hotel I’m pictured at with the staff above is the Boulderado Hotel in Boulder! Incredible woodwork, tile, stained glass. And no bicycle seats!

Your Ministry Partnership

Wait, where have I seen this before, Tim?

Tis the season for Tim’s financial updates. I’ll give you the skinny here at the top of my post. The details down below are pretty similar to last year. So if you’re new to my team, please feel free to read to the end. If you know where this is headed already, save yourself the time and hop on the Ministry Partnership Form immediately below. I’ll keep the link to the form and my donation page handy in the rest of my 2022 posts. Thanks so much for your partnership!

This takes about 3 minutes

Once you’ve had a chance to think about your partnership with me, the following link will take you to a short form I’d like to have everyone fill out. I’ll be in touch with you based on your response. Here’s what the form looks like:

Donuts have replaced Pies!

Take that news however you want, but pie-charts are just not as cool as donut-charts. Everything that used to be a pie is now a donut (it’s about time, I say). Let me break it down for you. Hopefully this will make sense right from the start and you’ll forever be able to recognize Tim’s special Green, Gold, Blue donut-chart.

If you’re a Green…

Each year my ministry account gets reset on July 1st. The clock starts over! You are in the green part of the donut chart above most likely if you are a regular giver who contributes monthly. Greens are great because every month I get to see the results of your partnership with me. Thank you! Thank you for working me into your monthly giving budget. Most greens give not only to me, but several other causes as well. The consistency of your gifts helps me know I can keep doing this from year to year! Go Green!

If you’re a Gold…

Alert readers will realize that some Golds are just Greens as their gifts keep coming into the account. Fair enough. But you could also make the gold part of the donut by being an annual donor. Golds like to give in larger amounts – usually once a year. Many golds give around this time of year because they plan their giving around the calendar year-end. If you’re gold, it’s helpful to receive a reminder around now so you can transact your gift before the end of the year. Just hop on that link above and you’ll be taken to my donation page at InterVarsity. Thank you Gold!

Now, about that Blue…

Why does it seem like EVERY faith-ministry donut has a blue chunk? I long for the day when all I have is a Green-Gold donut to talk about in November. Not sure that will ever actually happen. The blue chunk represents new support dollars I need to find before the end of my fiscal year- June 2023. Two things are always happening that lead to the need for blue. My budget gets an upgrade each year that reflects cost of living adjustments and increases in ministry expenses (like rental cars). The other reality is that some supporters just can’t maintain their previous giving levels. Job loss, changes in giving ability or priorities among other factors mean that people sometimes have to cut back.

Can I help you with your Blue?

If you are a current donor and would like to increase your giving amount, that would be a terrific way to help me beat the blue! Consider a percentage bump of somewhere between 5 to 10 percent. If everyone in green/gold bumped their giving by even 5 percent, I’d be able to cover about half my funding gap.

If you haven’t been able to give to my budget, maybe you could start as a new donor in the coming calendar year. You can use that same link above to jump on my donation page and get started. I’ll also be working over the coming months to find new supporters. If you’re a Green/Gold and you know someone who might like to partner with InterVarsity by all means introduce me! I’d be happy to buy us all lunch and talk about it!

Thanks so much for your prayers and for your giving! I hope you’ll catch some terrific time with your family over Thanksgiving. If we haven’t caught up in a while, drop me an email. Let me know how I can encourage you and pray for you!