Echoing Hope: Voices of Lipscomb University

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There's a hope inside of us that we create out of our humanness. We hope our car lasts a few more years. We hope our children are healthy. We hope our vacation goes well and our flights are on time. But there is a deeper hope that we can only echo. It is a hope that bellows from the heavens created and given to us by God. The hope is shown to us through Jesus and woven into our lives through the breaths of the Spirit. This is a hope that extends into eternity, but is also rooted in our world. Many Lipscomb voices echo this hope across our campus, throughout our community and around the world as we share our knowledge, share our talents and share our faith with those we walk beside and with those we serve.

Chris Smith: speaking from the pulpit

Chris Smith (’80) has been the pulpit minister at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ in Nashville for 11 years. He graduated from Lipscomb with a major in biblical languages. He received his Master of Theology degree from Harding University Graduate School of Religion and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Abilene Christian University. As a minister, he has seen people with little or no hope wondering where to turn. He has also witnessed many people willing to offer hope to others. Smith acknowledges that in speaking of hope, a tension exists between the already and the not yet.

Chris Smith“We want hope to mean that everything will work out wonderfully for us. That’s not reality. When you can accept this, then you can see true hope. To paraphrase George Steiner, true hope lies between a crucifixion on Good Friday and a resurrection that Sunday. Our life is often like the long journey of the Saturday in-between. It’s on that Saturday that we cling to hope. It’s on that Saturday that we offer hope,” said Smith.

Smith sees hope as tied to the continuing work of God in our world. The Kingdom of God breaks into the world now, and we are a part of the Kingdom work. The Gospel of Matthew makes it clear that there are injustices in this world that Christians should be concerned with, bringing hope where hope is being taken away.

“We are part of God’s work. To offer hope means to help put a marriage back together, to create faith in a teenager, to feed the hungry, to help a family figure out long-term care for an elderly parent, to build a Habitat house. Bringing hope strengthens the individual and the community. Hope is often supplied by a church family when we hold each other up,” Smith added.

“We still have to remember, though, that we must have an understanding that we aren’t home yet, but we have a benevolent God who loves us. We can speak confidently of mercy and hope here, but on the flip side, there’s still the racism that exists around the world, there’s still cancer, there’s still a hurt child, there’s still abuse. But we have hope. We have to fight the tendency to think things will work out, and we deserve it. Other Christians in other nations assume suffering is part of life on this earth, but they have hope. We have hope. The journey may be long and the burden heavy, but we have hope that we can cling to and that we can offer others,” said Smith.

Jacob Dye: beyond depression

Jacob Dye, a Lipscomb junior from Gladeville, Tenn., began his college career as a pre-med student. During his sophomore year, however, he began to feel led in other directions. He searched for guidance in his career path, eventually finding a very unique answer. He changed his major to psychology and his minor to exercise science in order to combine a counseling practice with a fitness program to strengthen the whole person.

“I have struggled with weight problems and depression. After reading Body by God by Dr. Ben Lerner, I started a personal exercise program. I began to see my life turning around. When I came to Lipscomb, I felt God leading me to a career that could help others. I spent a lot of time at home when I changed majors. I needed time to think and pray. God definitely put this idea in me for my career path. I want to open a counseling center attached to a gym. I can offer people dealing with obesity or depression or dysmorphic disorders both psychological counseling and a safe place to begin an exercise program which ties into their overall emotional and physical health,” said Dye.

Dye knows from personal experiences the value of a fitness program when struggling with depression. He hopes to use his insight to help others who wrestle with similar issues. A private place to work out can be a life-changing source of help for people struggling with image-related issues. After graduation, Dye hopes to continue his studies at Lipscomb as he seeks his master’s degree in Christian counseling. He can then become a certified trainer and a certified counselor.

“It’s a little bit difficult to have a career goal that’s out of the norm, but I trust this is what God wants me to do. I know there will be rough spots. I’ve seen the stress my Dad goes through in owning his own business. But when you are doing what you are called to do, it’s worth it. I want to offer hope to others. For me, hope is knowing that there is always at least one person who loves you, and that person is God. No matter how much you mess in up in life, God loves you. You can connect with Christian family members and friends who will love you. That’s how we give hope to each other. Hope allows you to change your life. Offering hope gives people a chance,” said Dye.

Lindsay Daly: to teach a child to dream

Lindsay Daly (’05) majored in elementary education at Lipscomb. She had always loved working with children, so education seemed a perfect fit for her. She considered traditional classroom teaching, but then her trip with Lipscomb’s department of education to the Rockyford School, located on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, broadened her perspective on her career options. Over 98 percent of the students come from the Lakota people inhabiting the reservation. Although Pine Ridge is the eighth largest reservation in the United States, it is also the poorest. With over 97 percent of the Lakota tribe living below the poverty level and teen suicides 150 percent higher than the national average among this group, providing an education and offering hope to the Rockyford students can be challenging. The teachers elaborately celebrate eighth grade graduation knowing that many of the students will not return for high school.

“This trip changed my life. The opportunity was the most tangible moment I can point to to say God broadened my perspective on my calling for my life beyond just the inner cities of America to any child living in an oppressed or at-risk situation. I realized we all have a call to touch people’s lives through whatever profession we enter. What God has given you as a passion, you can use to offer hope to others,” said Daly.

Daly, who played for the Lady Bisons basketball team for four years, now serves as the program executive for Youth Life Learning Centers (YLLC). She saw a video about their programs while a junior at Lipscomb. She began volunteering there, and then turned her work into a career. The nonprofit centers strive to nurture the children they work with, strengthen the families in the communities where they are located and rebuild communities by aiding and supporting the educational, moral and social development of at-risk youth. In her role with YLLC, Daly oversees five Nashville sites that work with kindergarten through twelfth-grade students in an after-school program.

“I work with families who are often struggling with poverty. Their environments don’t always offer hope. I try to teach the students how to dream. They need to see beyond their tangible neighborhoods so they can find a vision for a stronger future. We offer students a safe place off the streets and give the parents a voice in setting goals for the students and the families. We use incentives to motivate the kids, but we also build our program around things kids love. It’s exciting to help a child find their passion and use that passion to dream and grow,” said Daly.

“My job is a calling for me. I understand the weight of the task God has handed me and know there is a ripple effect because of my actions. I prayerfully make decisions in my career knowing that the choices I make touch the lives of the families I work with. I strive to offer hope to the communities our centers are in. Hope to me means really trusting that what God has said is true. It’s a choice to believe that situations and people can change beyond the circumstances I see everyday. I believe that God is always present with us and loves us. Hope is also learning how to dream, believing in goals that aren’t tangibly right in front of you.”

Greg Young: serving on behalf of the patient

Dr. Greg Young, associate dean of experiential education for Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy, realizes that some people tie pharmacy to a product, to the medicine they purchase. But pharmacy is much more than that. A pharmacist is charged with looking at a patient and their drug therapy and discovering what is best for an individual. In realizing that, patients discover the hope brought through the practice of pharmacy.

“Pharmacists work to create an optimal care plan for a patient. We are part of a team with the doctors and nurses already caring for the patient, so patient care is truly an interdisciplinary approach. We teach our student pharmacists that they are entrusted with God-given talents, and their goal should be to have the knowledge and abilities to enact a difference in the lives of the people they come in contact with through the practice of pharmacy,” said Young.

The profession calls pharmacists to invest in the communities where they are serving. Student pharmacists studying at Lipscomb learn that professionalism in their field means going beyond what is expected or intended. A pharmacist, for example, may offer professional advice on how to quit smoking to a patient on heart medications. A pharmacist may follow-up with parents to remind them that all antibiotics need to be administered even if a child begins feeling better after only two doses.

“We remind our student pharmacists that they can make a difference. The pharmacist/patient relationship, especially in a community pharmacy setting, creates relationships that allow pharmacists to gain the trust of their patients. Then we can bring to reality the concept of servanthood in our field. Pharmacy is a calling which allows its professionals to embody the Oath of the Pharmacists, asking each member of our field to set aside their own convenience for the care of our patients,” added Young.

Young served for six years as a nuclear pharmacist and pharmacy manager for Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy. Young is certified in nuclear pharmacy, diabetes patient care, pharmacy-based immunizations and asthma patient care. He also served as the pharmacy manager for Marcrom’s Pharmacy and Clinical Care Services. Young has also held positions in hospital pharmacy, retail, and long-term care consulting. He has served as a preceptor in clinical clerkships and for pharmacy residents in clinical practice. He has also served as the president of the Rutherford County Pharmacists Association.

“I have been impressed with what Dean Davis and the Lipscomb administration have been able to develop. There is a passion and a focus here, a desire for excellence that will translate into top-quality patient care for the patients our student pharmacists will serve. Our student pharmacists will bring hope to their communities. I define hope as the realization that I can use my God-given talents to make a difference. Our student pharmacists invest time, money and an emotional involvement in pursuing their degree. They will use their degrees to make a difference. As a professional, when we embody a spirit of servanthood in our field, we embrace the same concerns as God does. We see things through our hearts, through His eyes as His servants. That’s when we bring hope,” said Young.

Caitlin: from a child’s eyes

Seeing life through a child’s eyes can remind us of the power of planting seeds of hope along our journey. Caitlin, a David Lipscomb Middle School student, learned about hope through the words and actions of Christians living out their faith. When she was in need, others offered her hope. Now she knows how to offer hope to others, whether it is through dropping part of her allowance in a collection plate at church or serving through her school.

“I go to school at David Lipscomb Middle School. Our school teaches us about hope and about sharing hope. We did a project that gives coats to people that really need them. It’s called Warm Coats from Warm Hearts, I think. We turned in Purity milk caps to raise money for our school. We also raised money for other people that really need it by saving can tabs. The money goes to the Ronald McDonald House. It helps a lot of people who need hope. We save Box Tops to give the money to a children’s home in Honduras. We also donated khaki pants that we outgrew for other kids that need school pants but can’t afford it. That’s the big projects we have done,” said Caitlin.

“We are a Christian school so we like to help people that need things. Christians believe in Jesus, and we try to do the right things. Sometimes we make mistakes, but we always try to go back and fix them. But we also always try to help others. There are people and families that have difficulties. We go to church and learn how to grow and to help others. We ask for advice so we can learn how to serve and to do big projects through start to finish. We also ask for prayer requests. We pray for people and for each other. Jesus told us to do this. Jesus showed us how to do this. I define hope as caring for people and helping out through tough times. We can offer prayers, talk about Jesus with them and tell them about hope. We can help children through tough times. Hope is helping people find food when times are tough or help them get a home. Hope is helping the whole family when they really need it. I try to share hope, and I have hope, too. Hope means we are in God’s hands and we can be God’s hands.”