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Aaron Merrell

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November 22, 2014

An MNU/KC/Santa Ricky Christmas

November 22, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey all!

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, and to me, that means it’s basically Christmas!

To prepare for this Christmas in Kansas City, I’ve already purchased my Santa Hat, and my friends and I have christened my friend Rico McKay and “Santa Ricky.” (He even has his own parody twitter account, @RealSantaRicky)

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So, for this blog, I’m going to analyze the Kansas City Christmas Experience, with photos of Santa Ricky and his merry pals peppered in.

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Every Kansas City Christmas experience must include several trips to see the plaza lights, including the night of Thanksgiving, when the lights that adorn the Country Club Plaza are finally turned on.  They stay on through New Year’s, and they truly mark the beginning of the Christmas season in Kansas City.

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Next, we move on to Christmas Light tours.  I particularly like to take my friends to the homes around Ward Parkway and 63d Street in Kansas City, MO and Mission Hills, KS.  These professionally decorated homes are already unique and awesome to look at, and the lights make them even more spectacular.

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After a drive around those neighborhoods, my other favorite Christmas spot in Kansas City is the Ice Terrace at Crown Center.  Ice skating here is fun, (even though I have to re-learn how to skate every single time) and an extremely good time, and I definitely recommend it as well.

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These are just a few spots of so many more around the city, and I hope you’re able to come to MNU so you can experience them and people like Santa Ricky yourself!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving breaks, see you in a week!

 

Aaron

Katie Linsey

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November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Break in KC

November 20, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey, friends! If you’re staying in KC for Thanksgiving break, here are some cool happenings that you can be involved in. I encourage you to take part in as many of these as you can… it’ll get you in the holiday spirit!

1. Thanksgiving at Café Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

A typical day at Cafe Gratitude… so peaceful and loving! (Photo courtesy of veganomics101.wordpress.com)

If you don’t have any lunch plans on Thanksgiving day, look no further than Café Gratitude for a FREE meal! If you stop by anytime between noon and 3 p.m., you can sit down and have a delicious organic and vegan meal (salad, entrée, and dessert). No reservations are required, but it’s first come first serve. If you would rather volunteer at this event, they are also looking for people to help!

I’ve personally been to Cafe Gratitude and it’s a great environment. Everyone there is so friendly and the food is surprisingly delicious! Since it’s organic and vegan, it does have an all-natural, “earthy” taste, but it’s still amazing. It’s definitely an experience I would take part in if you can!

For more info, visit http://cafegratitudekc.com/events/

2. Pack Friday

Pack Friday

This is a photo from one of Youthfront’s packaging events with a club I was involved in at my high school. So fun!

On Black Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Youthfront is hosting an event called Pack Friday, where people can go package meals for their Something To Eat initiative. It’s a great way to serve and give back around the holiday time. I’ve been involved in 2 of their packaging events in the past and really enjoyed them. It’s super fun if you get a group of friends or family together and go! It costs $0.25 per meal that you package and it’s so worth it. You must register ahead of time, so start talking to people and get a group together! (If you want to go and have no one to go with, talk to me and we can go together!)

To register, visit https://youthfront.com/somethingtoeat/pack-friday/

3. The 85th Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony

Plaza Lights

The beautiful plaza lights that you MUST go see! (Photo courtesy of www.jocosiding.com)

On Thanksgiving Day starting at 5 p.m., there will be festivities on the plaza leading up to the flipping of the switch at 6:54 p.m. This will take place on the main stage at Nichols Road and Pennsylvania (by Brio Tuscan Grille). If you can’t make it to the ceremony, the lights will shine daily from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. until January 18, so make sure you go downtown to see the beauty sometime!

For a detailed schedule of the ceremony, visit https://countryclubplaza.com/event/plaza-lighting-ceremony/

4. Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Crown Center Lights

A beautiful place to go ice skating and look at the lights! (Photo courtesy of www.kcparent.com)

On Friday, November 28, this will take place at Crown Center Square. It’s a free event that starts at 5:30 p.m. and lasts for an hour or two!

For more info, visit https://www.crowncenter.com/Event-List/tree-2014

I hope you all decide to participate in some of these events if you can! Happy Thanksgiving!

-KT

Samantha Moore

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November 19, 2014

It’s almost over!

November 19, 2014 | By | No Comments

I can not already be a senior… this is really life guys! 

Haley Raydo

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November 17, 2014

How To Stay Warm

November 17, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

Sooo it is cold outside.  Literally I am looking at the weather report right now and it says that it feels like 9 degrees outside.  And we all scream and plea “WHYYY” I have never had the urge to skip more classes in my life, not because of the class itself but because of HOW COLD it is! Seriously though, that should be reason enough to cancel classes.

Anywho, I thought it would be most convenient of me to provide a semi-sarcastic, semi-realtalk on how to stay warm.

1. Don’t go outside.  Seriously, avoid it at all costs.  Just hibernate all winter… like a bear.  If that was socially, financially, and spiritually acceptable I think I might consider. I would say goodbye to all my loved ones and bam you wouldn’t see me until March.

2. Wear layers.  I hope for most of you this is an immediate “duh” however according to some people on this campus and other college campuses around the country I might think differently.  I mean seriously! Flip flops? And you think you are done with the “bro tank” phase once winter hits, but believe me you are not. I guess muscle men don’t get cold? Are “muscle men” a thing?

3. Sometimes you have to sacrifice.  I would like to think I am a girl who likes to dress “cute.”  I mean I tend to be the friend of the group who is rarely seen in sweat pants and t-shirts. But sometimes you have to be willing to sacrifice to keep warm.  In a perfect world, this is how I would want to dress for winter: (courtesy of my obsession with pinterest)

cute winter fashionBut when you step outside and it literally feels like someone is punching you in the face, sacrifices are made so I end up with something like this: (courtesy of twitter @haleyraydo)

me this winterMaybe I am not to that extent yet, but I feel that way.  I also feel like I make that face quite a bit.  I see people walking all the time with their completely normal face, and when I am walking out in cold weather I make the worst faces.  Oh well.  Again, sacrifices.

Now winter isn’t all bad– I love the snow (when I don’t have to drive in it), THANKSGIVING, Christmastime, College Basketball (Go NEERS and gooo to my Jayhawks), Football, warm sweaters, chai lattes.. you know… But all this will be relevant around January/February.

The point of this, I am not sure.  It might be me venting of my hatred for single digit weather, or it may be of help to those of you who struggle with these concepts…

Also, if my Minnesota relatives or my Alaskan friends are reading this– I know, I’m a wimp.

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

 

Mariah McCommon

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November 17, 2014

Iowa Bound

November 17, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hi guys!! I hope you have had the best week! :)

I’m going to share an amazing story about a trip to Iowa on Saturday. Yes, we went there and back in one day.

A group of students from my ministry class left campus yesterday around noon and headed to Iowa City Church of the Nazarene. This is the home church of two of our students. The drive was about 5-6 hours on the way there and surprisingly enough, it was snowing like crazy up there! Fun fact about me: I do not do snow. I hate snow. If it’s snowing, Santa better be coming to town. I’m just not a fan. Anyway, we had to drive fairly slow because there were a few times we drifted. It was awesome. Our advisor drove too so we were in good hands.

We arrived around 6:30pm to the church and they already had about two inches of snow. Yikes. The church averages about 180-200 each Sunday and what’s unique about this church is that it’s attended greatly by Hispanic people. I had no idea what to expect going into this experience, but when I walked into the doors, my heart was so happy. The sanctuary was full and the group of us sat in the back until it was our time to speak. The church had this event going on called “Revival” which we had the opportunity to participate in. Eight out of the twelve people in our group shared our testimonies and what revival means to us. Hearing each testimony was such a blessing because we’ve all been through different heartache, but what we all had in common is that God saved us. It seemed like the congregation was deeply moved by it and to be a part of it was truly humbling.

The really cool thing that I will never forget is that we had to share a defining moment in our lives where God was really moving. For me, it was in Panama back in 2013 when I was on a mission trip with my family and church friends. We were called up to the front of the church (about the same size as Iowa City Church) to be prayed over. The band behind us was playing, everyone in the room was glorifying God in Spanish, and the pastor was praying over us (also in Spanish). I had no idea what was said because I don’t speak Spanish, but I have never felt the Holy Spirit come down upon me as much as it did in that moment. I bawled my eyes out to say the least and I hardly ever cry in front of people because I like to think I’m tough. I cried because that was when I felt God wrap His loving arms around me and knew He was the real deal. That was also the moment I knew missions was my calling from God. That feeling was the same feeling I felt in that service last night. The deja vu was so surreal that I surrendered myself all over again. That’s what revival is. It’s when you realize you can’t handle life on your own and you give your ALL to God. Not just your struggles, not just your joys, EVERYTHING.

The service lasted about 3 and a half hours which seems like a long time, but the thing is, no one was concerned about the time. They were there to worship God and I’m pretty sure we sang the same song for about forty minutes straight and that is not a bad thing. It was beautiful. The whole service was. When we were dismissed, the congregation was served walking tacos. Yes, they were incredibly delicious.

We headed out around 11 pm to return home to Olathe. The roads were still pretty bad so we drove slow. The trip home was about 7 hours…in a van…all night long… but hey, it was alright. We all tried to sleep, but if you’ve ever tried to sleep in a crowded van for 7 hours… Lord have mercy. It was 6 am when we pulled into the parking lot on campus. I think it’s safe to say now that I went to bed and woke up at 4 pm. It was completely worth it. We had a great time and I think it helped us as students and followers of Christ grow. Ultimately, we were there to speak to the church, but I think they spoke to us too. For that I am truly grateful!

Aaron Merrell

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November 15, 2014

Playlists and People

November 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

What’s up everybody? Hope everyone had a great week!

So tonight I went to a Hunter Hayes concert, and it was SO good. The Railers and Dan+Shay opened for him, and they were both fantastic, even though I had never heard of The Railers before. I know these three don’t fit some people’s definition of country music (it obv has to have something about cars and an unintelligible accent duh) but they were about as country as it typically gets for me.

See, I don’t really get to deep into any genre of music, I just like a little of everything. Imagine some Love on Top followed by some Turning Tables and maybe a little Bad Blood and that’s my typical playlist.

I think my taste in music and my time living overseas has been what helps me understand people. Just like music artist and their genres have different influences, people have all sorts of different backgrounds.

We can’t begin to try to understand someone until we know where they come from, what they’ve been through, and where they’re going (and maybe even what kind of music they listen to).

So, the moral of the story is rock it to whatever you wanna listen to, no one is forcing you to listen to something else. But, at least give something else and someone else a chance.

You might be pleasantly surprised!
Have an awesome week!

-Aaron

P.S. This week’s episode of Scandal was so good.

Luther Okeyo

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November 13, 2014

A Very Special Veteran’s Day

November 13, 2014 | By | No Comments

As you all know Tuesday was Veteran’s Day and now matter how you feel about the military, you just have to sit back and admire the sacrifices that they endure everyday to keep us safe, and help us enjoy the freedoms we have today. Just like Coach Willmer told us the other day, “Our freedom isn’t free, somebody else pays for it.” This day is now very special to me, you never really realize how important something is until it hits you personally. For me, this day is about my friend Cory Ellis and his family.

This is one of my best friend's Cory Ellis. He is a marine stationed in Japan. He is coming home in a couple of days, from his first tour of duty. I'm so proud of him and I'm honored to be friend and grateful for the sacrifices he made. I can't wait to see him again.

This is one of my best friends Cory Ellis. He is a corporal in marine core. He is stationed in Japan. He is coming home in a couple of days, from his first tour of duty. I’m so proud of him and I’m honored to be his friend and grateful for the sacrifices he made. I can’t wait to see him again. 

It takes a special kind of person, to able to take on the commitment that the armed forces require. The Ellis family knows that commitment all too well. First things first, this family is like my second family. They embraced me and made me when one of their own, when I was just a stupid kid high school who didn’t know any better. Some of the best moments in my life were made with this family. For example the creation of the wolf pack, the 4th of July incident, and I can’t forget the Fall Fridays when I had meatball subs before football games. They are a blessing, and I can’t even imagine who I would be  if they were were not apart of my life.

The Ellis kids in all their glory. This was when Cory graduated from boot camp. There is Cory in the middle (the oldest), Ryan on the left (second-oldest), Colin on the right (second-youngest), Morgan (youngest) in the middle.

The Ellis kids in all their glory. This was when Cory graduated from boot camp. There is Cory in the middle (the oldest), Ryan on the left (second-oldest), Colin on the right (second-youngest), Morgan (youngest) in the middle.

These guys are a collection of characters but I love each and everyone of them to death. As you know Cory went into the military, he is a corporal in the marine core. Cory has probably the sharpest wit this side of the Mississippi, he has a comeback for everything, and when you think you finally got him, that’s when you fall into his trap. Ryan is an enigma all of his own, you never really know what he is going to do, but I’ll tell you this right now don’t underestimate him, this little guy has more heart than anyone will ever give him credit for. Now we have Colin, this kid is just nuts sometimes. Yet you can always catch him in the some spot, downstairs in office, usually watching Netflix. He also wants to go into the military when he graduates from high school like his big brother. He scares me a little bit, but I can’t wait to see the man he becomes. Last but certainly not least we have Morgan, the baby of household, (sorry Maddie). She is just a little bundle of joy, who can catch you slipping at any moment. She always knows how to brighten my day or completely tear me down, but I don’t care I still love her.

The parents, Glen and Tammy Ellis. Glen's nick name is Papa Ellis, and I just call Tammy Mom.

The parents, Glenn and Tami Ellis. Glenn’s nick name is Papa Ellis, and I just call Tami, Mom. They were high school sweet hearts and they’ve been married for 22 years

Lets start with Papa Ellis (sorry mom), Papa Ellis served in Air force. He technically still serves as a reservist. He is also a police officer for Simi Valley Police Department. He is just a big teddy bear, a little bit too old school but that’s why we love him. Don’t let him fool though, this guy still has it. Just ask Cory. Everyday this guy does all he can to provide for his family and then when he steps out of the house, he goes and protects the people of Simi Valley. He is always there for his family no matter what. He is the man, I aspire to be. Ok now here we have Mom, the best way to describe her role in the family is to have watched the movie Remember the Titans. She is basically Denzel Washington aka Coach Herman Boone in a sense. In the immortal words of Coach Boone, “This is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship!” Mom is the same way, she is just and fair, but is not afraid to put her foot down. She treats everyone the same no matter who you are. She is 2nd toughest woman I know behind only my own mother.

The Ellis family is also a sports family. All the men in the family played football (I played with Cory in high school). Colin however took it to another level and also wrestles in high school. Morgan is a cheerleader and is insanely flexible. Ironically Tami is the only one, who never played a sport, but she is one of the loudest fans you will ever meet. I can’t tell how many games, I could hear her screaming at us over everyone else in the crowd, plus she doesn’t care who will hear her. She has even called me out on the carpet a few times, when I dropped a ball, or had a bad play during my high school playing days. That’s just who she is and there is no one else like her.

Anyway, this is my second family. I can’t wait to see them when I go back home for winter break. I got some stories for them and I can’t wait to hear their stories either and also have one of the famous (well to me) Ellis meatball subs. Also to all the men and women out there put their lives on the line for us here at home or anywhere else in the world, thank you so much for your service. I know it may not be said enough but I am grateful for all you do for us. Come back home safe and rejoin your families and hopefully one day, I have a chance to give a little back to you for all you have given to us.

 

Katie Linsey

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November 13, 2014

5 Things Phonathon Taught Me

November 13, 2014 | By | One Comment

For the past six weeks, I’ve been working at the MNU Phonathon. What I thought would just be another job has turned out to double as a ministry and be a place where I’ve met some really great friends. Here’s some things I’ve learned through this experience…

1. You never know where life will take you

At Phonathon, I’ve had the great privilege of talking to alumni, parents, and friends of the university that have lived great lives with many unexpected turns. It’s always interesting to hear how God works in people’s lives and leads them to places they never thought they’d end up. I get to hear the stories of the people that changed their major 17 times and still aren’t working in their field of study, but are following God’s will for their lives with so much joy. Talking to people that have experienced unexpected change in their life gives me encouragement. It gives me hope to know that God will lead me where He wants me; in whatever fashion He wishes to do so.

2. Everybody has a story

I especially love talking to alumni of the university because I get to hear about their lives after they graduate. Their careers, relationships, children, etc… Everybody has a different, unique story. It’s so fascinating to hear people’s journeys and where God has led them so far in life. Some stories are crazier than others, but every story is beautiful and special.

3. You’ll never know if you don’t ask

Okay, this one is a little more light-hearted. At Phonathon, we like to ask donors to slightly increase their gifts from previous years to give them the opportunity to support students at MNU on a higher level than they did before. There have been times when I’ve felt a bit uncomfortable asking, but more than I have expected, donors have been happy to increase their support. This has taught me a practical lesson… that we won’t ever know if we don’t ask. This can be applied to many aspects of life. I want to live a life of boldness, not of fear. I want to take chances. (Yes, I realize the comparison is a bit of a stretch, but there’s some truth hidden in there somewhere.)

4. It’s good to help people we don’t know

If you read my blog from last week, you know that I recently sponsored a child with my friend. I don’t personally know her, but I want to help her because I have the means to do it and I want the best for her. This is how some of the donors feel about the students at MNU. A lot of them have told me that they are praying for me and wish me the best of luck in my education. They are more than ready to give me advice and listen to my experiences at MNU so far. And, then, they show that they care by giving a financial gift that goes to student scholarships. It’s really encouraging and refreshing to know that, here at MNU, we have an army of people out there praying for us and supporting us. This pushes me to try to help people that I don’t personally know, because they may need me.

5. Prayer is powerful

At Phonathon, we have prayer cards at every station, which are cards that we can fill out for donors if they need prayer for anything. I think that’s one of my favorite things about Phonathon—that we can ask donors if they need prayer, and then actually pray for them as a team. It’s powerful stuff, guys. The donors are so thankful that we care enough to pray about them, and we are thankful that we get to be involved in their lives… even if it’s in a minute way.

So… there you have it! Just a few of the many things Phonathon has taught me. It’s been a great job for the past six weeks. I’m definitely going to miss it.

Shameless plug: If this sounds fun to you (and it is!), apply next year! :)

-KT

A few of the friends I’ve made at Phonathon. We rock those headsets pretty hard.

Luther Okeyo

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November 11, 2014

Baker Week

November 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Aright I want you to picture this, it’s late in the fourth quarter, Baker has driven down to our 3 yard line and they are lining up for a 20 yard field goal. If you know anything about football you know that a 20 yard field is a chip shot for any kicker (well most kickers). The game will be won or lost on this play. George Tombaugh with the call…

If there ever was a play that exemplified our season, this is it. Every time it looked like we were down and out, somebody comes up with a huge play to keep us alive. This time it was Coop and Primetime coming up with the play this time. Throught out my MNU life, one of the biggest and parts of it are times we play Baker no matter what sport. I mean IT’S BAKER!!! Ok it’s really hard to explaining you just gotta be here to experience it.

Anyway back to the game. If you weren’t able to watch the game, you really missed out on a great game. I mean it really had everything, think about it, it was homecoming week, IT WAS BAKER WEEK, they were ranked as the #2 in the nation. Nobody really gave us a chance, to win the game. From the very beginning, the game went back and forth, but we struck first with Coop picking off a Baker pass, in which turned into a field goal. After swapping TDs, it just became a defensive slugfest with both offenses struggling to score. The score at halftime 14-10 with us winning. Javon Taylor had the play of first half with his 53 yard TD. George Tombaugh with the call…

Baker started the second half off hot. They scored twice in the 3rd quarter, but we responded with a TD drive of our own. Using a little trick we’ve been saving for a game like this. George Tombaugh with the call…

Baker wasn’t the #2 team in the nation for nothing. They took back the lead and had a chance to ice the game in the fourth quarter before Coop and Prime made the play of the game. But 2 penalties pushed us back to the 44 yard line. A couple plays later, on 3rd and 18, Sunshine found Simmy for a key first down, but Simmy did more than just get a first down. George Tombaugh with the call…

We ended up winning the game in overtime, on a 2 yard TD run on fourth down run by Erik May. It was a great game, probably the best game I have ever been apart of.  We took over the top spot in the HAAC, we once again shocked the world and now it’s time for us to finish the season strong. On a year where MNU was so supposed to be rebuilding, we showed everyone we are for real and we put the nation on notice.

One of the stand outs was Trent "Sunshine" Hedlund. He was 26-38 for a career-high 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.

One of the stand outs was Trent “Sunshine” Hedlund. He was 26-38 for a career-high 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Javon Taylor aka the muscle hamster, once again balled out, he is the horse that really carries our offense.  He ran 14 times for 60 yards and caught 6 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Javon Taylor aka the muscle hamster, once again balled out, he is the horse that really carries our offense. He ran 14 times for 60 yards and caught 6 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Ok it's about time that this kid gets his props. This is our kicker Cristian Casillas, he is only a freshman but he is the best kicker in the HAAC, and on of the best kickers in the nation and HE IS ONLY A FRESHMAN. He leads the nation in field goals, total field goals, scoring and is second in the nation total scoring. This man is a beast.

Ok it’s about time that this kid gets his props. This is our kicker Cristian Casillas, he is only a freshman but he is the best kicker in the HAAC, and one of the best kickers in the nation and HE IS ONLY A FRESHMAN!! He leads the nation in field goals, total field goals, scoring and is second in the nation in total scoring. This man is a beast.

 

 

Haley Raydo

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November 10, 2014

Christmastime in Spin 105

November 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

So today I have a little video because well…. We decorated for Christmas!  Yes it’s early, yes it’s ridiculous. The way I see it, we only have 2 weeks of school after Thanksgiving and that isn’t near enough time to enjoy it.  So we went all out early.

Also there is some randomness at the end that I cannot explain, literally that is Spindle 105 (#spin105).

Anyways have a good week and be filled with the Christmas spirit a “bit” early…

Thanks for stopping by

Haley