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Joey Alligier

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October 8, 2012

“Hey, that was a great service at Building today!”

October 8, 2012 | By | 3 Comments

The congregating of Christ followers most likely started directly after the spread of Christianity in the first century. Over MANY years we have what we call church today. The beautiful buildings, sometimes testy air conditioning, hopefully comfy pews, potluck dinners, and outlandish youth group games are how the typical description of the church is perceived in typical minds and conversation. But, is that all we are? Are we defined by what we have and the look we give off? Have we become that superficial as a society? Now, don’t get me wrong, nice churches are most definitely a blessing from God. But if you dig deeper what really defines the church.

The church is the people, not the building. Now, there are some questions that arise with this statement. For me, thinking about this brought up the fact that in the Old Testament the church WAS the building and not so much the people. But why? In the Old Testament the church/ tabernacle had a Holy of Holies that was not for the common man to enter. This where God was; this is where the church was.

When Christ died, so did that. The Advocate ( Or in Greek, Paraclete <— I learned that in New Testament class) or the Holy Spirit changed the way things work. God is found in us. We have the opportunity to experience the power of Christ in our lives more than before. Now, this does not discredit church. We are still called to come together in Christ’s name! Plus, I mean who doesn’t love the wacky youth group games! Am I right or am I right?

The picture above was my church youth group on Sunday morning. I put it because my topic is church and what defines it, but mainly because it looks so sweet! We met in a building, but to me, many of those people I could experience the power of church outside that cramped room! I see God in those people more and more each day. That’s what it’s like here at MNU. Church could be the picture at the top or the one at the bottom; in a square with a fountain in the middle of downtown Wichita’s party scene blaring Jesus music, playing frisbee, talking to strangers, discussing life, and reading scripture. I could also experience church outside on the grass late at night or on my RA’s couch. To me, it’s beautiful that this whole campus is like a church. After all God shows up in more than a stained glass building! Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Now don’t get me wrong I believe God absolutely sees a congregation gathering to bring honor to His name on any given day! But as my pastor back home once eloquently stated, ” Sure you could go to church without members, you’d just end up saying ” Yeah, I went to building this morning.”.

In conclusion, I hope that this either opened your eyes to where or through who you could experience God. Never forget the way the church is talked about; the bride of Christ. And plus, why would Paul write letters to churches if they didn’t make a difference in life? As you go on with your busy day, take time to thank God for the gift of freedom, fellowship, and unfailing love he presents to us.

Keep on and keep God my friends,

Joey Alligier

Emily Lawler

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October 7, 2012

{Emily} Vlog: Saturday in KC

October 7, 2012 | By | 4 Comments

Enjoy the video! See ya next week!
{Emily}

Allegra Vieux

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October 5, 2012

A little fun for your Friday morning…

October 5, 2012 | By | No Comments

What do you do when you find out one of your professors is turning the big 6-0?

Bake cupcakes with your friends and break into his office to decorate, of course!

Okay, maybe we didn’t really break into his office, we had another professor meet us and open it before he got to school, but for the sake of the story, let’s call it breaking in.

Unfortunately we weren’t the only ones with the idea to decorate. Or maybe it was fortunate, because it adds to the element of surprise? We showed up and the door was covered in birthday wrapping paper, and there were helium filled balloons inside and out of his office. So what did we do?

Add to the chaos!

We filled 24 balloons and covered the floor, draped his desk/bookshelf/window with streamers, and left a plate of funfetti cupcakes on his desk numbered with the “60″ candles. A little surprise to add to the fun was a birthday boy ribbon we left on his desk for him to wear all day.

And yes, he wore it. But only after I went in and made sure he got the message.

So Professor Hamilton, thanks for all you do for us at school and for pushing us to be our best at all times. Hope the decorations didn’t take too long to clean up, and you’re welcome for deciding against the confetti. Happy 60th, here’s to 60 more to come!

Phillip Prado

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October 4, 2012

Are You In A Small Group?

October 4, 2012 | By | No Comments

Hey Guys!! What’s up? How’s your week going? I don’t know why I’m asking you questions, you can’t respond! Anyway, this week has been stressful for me.  It’s all been work, work, work, sleep, work, work, eat, work, sleep, work.  Sometimes I feel like there is no time to myself or to just get away and relax.  But then there’s that time of week when my stress level goes down drastically. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are the three days a week that I just stop what I’m doing and have fellowship with some friends.

Fridays I have a small group bible study with a couple of my friends, Tuesday nights I have a small group for guys, and then Wednesdays I attend Kairos.  These groups are a huge part of my week.  I feel like I have a little taste of my Sabbath in every one of them. Are you involved in a small group of some sort?  Yes? No? Well you should be!  Small groups, or even big groups, are a vital part of fellowship and really help you grow through your faith.  Why should we have only one Sabbath day a week dedicated to relaxing and just resting?  Why not have Sabbath moments throughout the week as well?

I urge you guys to join a small group, whether it’s one of MNU’s organized small groups or even just a small group of friends getting together and studying God’s word.  Groups like Kairos are also an excellent way to just have time together and fellowship.  These are all an awesome part of my college experience.  Whether you are already a student at MNU or even a future Pioneer looking into joining a small group is one easy step to developing a healthy college experience, and it’s a great way to further develop your relationship with God.  So just ask around about small groups or even start one with your friends.  I promise you won’t regret it.

 

 

 

 

Kelsey Cranford

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October 3, 2012

The hands. The feet.

October 3, 2012 | By | One Comment

This morning we had the privilege of listening to Cris Zimmermann speak about his ministry in Frankfurt, Germany. This young pastor began sharing with us a book he has been reading as of late called God is Not a Christian written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In this book the Archbishop shares of a crucifix he found in a church in which Jesus had no arms or legs. The meaning behind it was that, as the church, we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. That, as his disciples, we are to be the answer to the world’s begging question, “Where is God?”

As he began to speak he commanded my respect. He spoke with no words of eloquence or brilliance. He wasn’t beaming with charisma in which everyone was drawn to him. Nor did he command attention because of his long list of credentials or accomplishments. Rather, he commanded my respect because of his simple perusal of making this man on a cross relevant to our current world.

It all began with a group of 12 college students in Frankfurt. Together with Zimmermann, they began to brainstorm ideas on how they could be the hands and feet of Jesus in their own city. A specific pub was brought to their attention where a consistent community of people gathered regularly, not just to have a drink, but also to simply be together. Zimmermann and the students began to integrate themselves into this community, and after collaborating with the owner, began raising money with them to build a well in Africa. The pub family included, they began reaching out to the homeless community in the area as well and started establishing relationships with them. From there, other pubs began to get involved and the influence of the once small group began to grow and grow, involving people of all kinds.

It’s easy to look at the task ahead and be intimidated. To allow the fear that so easily creeps in to keep us from even taking a step. We become so taken back by our responsibility to be truth to the world that we can’t even be truth to the few people surrounding us. The fathers of the faith, the very apostles who walked on the ground that Jesus did, had to start somewhere. At some point, they had to acknowledge that they didn’t have what it takes to be his heirs to the kingdom. Yet, with the breath of Christ within us, we are given the means to be the truth, the salt, the light, that is so very necessary to this world. There is no better time than now to begin to get ourselves out of the way so that this purpose can be fulfilled in our lives.  May we begin to allow Jesus take root in our daily interactions with people and may we find the courage to take the baby steps that are necessary for any sort of change to occur. As Dorothy Day puts it, “People say, ‘What is the sense of our small effort?’ They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There’s too much work to do.”

Cherith Campbell

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October 2, 2012

The one where we walk with sticks.

October 2, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

This past week has definitely been my favorite! Guess why– it was PE week! Brad King and his wife came over from MNU and got to spend time with us in Paris as well as play some super fun games and do interesting activities. We played badminton which was so much fun! (Ty and I dominated-just sayin) Then we go to rock climbing and high wires/ropes courses. Yesterday we played disc golf and ultimate frisbee. After the class session was over there were six of us that wanted to keep playing and our game got pretty intense. Lauren, Ty, and I won!

Today for our activity we learned the art of Nordic walking. We had a lady that we knew from our village come and teach us the right way to do it and give us insight on the advantages that the Nordic technique has over just normal walking without sticks. We were all a little skeptical at first–I mean really..walking with sticks..how much different or beneficial could that be? But surprisingly a few of us picked up on it really well and loved it! We are looking forward to hopefully getting a set of walking sticks and doing it when we get back to the states.

Nordic walking became first known around 1930′s but it did not get popular in the area here until about 15-20 years ago. After using the sticks and then going to regular walking you can really tell what the sticks actually do. When properly Nordic walking you use 80% or more of the muscles in your body! And the amount of calories you burn is outrageous.

We have had such an amazing week with Brad and Deb and we wish that they didn’t have to leave. But the time that we have had has been incredible. Tomorrow is our last PE session and it will be 12 hour day of traveling and hiking through the ALPS! We start bright and early at 7 to catch the train. Should be a truly insane experience! CANNOT WAIT.

Learn something new today: The pulpit in the church was pushed to the side because the center of the faith was the communion-table of Christ. But then when Sola Scriptura came about the pulpit was put in the middle and the altars (the table for communion) was pushed to the sides because the scripture (God’s Word) became the center of the faith.

Joey Alligier

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October 2, 2012

When You Got that Sista’ from Anotha’ Mista or that Brotha’ from Anotha’ Motha’……

October 2, 2012 | By | 4 Comments

What is family?

 

Classically, it is considered to be based of off lineage, blood, crazy Uncle Bert!

For me, family is something different. I am adopted by my Great Aunt, so while that is still blood and I do get a few of my quirks from her, it’s just always been different! And not a bad different whatsoever. I admire and love my mom more than anyone in this world. (I’m not just saying that because she’ll read this lol)

Growing up, my mom and sister were the biggest components of my life! Within our family, we were our own family. That’s where I found my worth the most, learned from mistakes, and found out who I was. I can still remember the Saturday mornings, the family vacations, and the random “Hookie Fridays” that would end the week off right!

Now, for some, family isn’t as pleasant. Does that mean they have no family? NO. In the past few years while I was “too cool” for family I found that family is found less in blood and more in sweat and tears. Family is when you are willing to put everything into a relationship with another human being. It’s about the fights, the great nights, the “We need to talk” talks, the accountability, the good and bad that molds who you become.

The main person I can think of while I am writing this is my youth pastor! To preface the impact this man had I my life, I feel compelled to share that I have never had a father figure. After a youth camp before my junior year of high school, Jim became my best friend. From here I began to show him every aspect of my life. The good, the bad, the issues, the fight. That’s when the relationship began to grow excessively. Long story short, this 28 year old man and his family have become just that to me; family. We have inside jokes, trust, mowing Saturdays, and a constant competition of getting each other things with no acceptance of anything in return.

While that is my main example, this past year has given NUMEROUS people who I would NOT be ashamed to be tied to. They have seen my ups, downs, faithful, and struggling times.

In the pictures above you’ll see two little kids that have my heart. Kambri (Jim’s daughter/ my sister) and Austin (My nephew). I don’t love these kids because they are the most well-behaved, but because they love me with a love I don’t always understand. I don’t always get to see them, yet they treat me the same and usually with even more love.

Here at MNU this is what you find. Community with people who will become like family. They live next door, across campus, and even off MNU property. I know I would pick no other place to find people who want the best for me and my relationship with God. Whether it may be sharing my life with a new friend after chapel or growing closer to my RA, I know that I can call these people family. It’s found on the halls, in the classroom, even on the random benches around the beautiful campus.

In conclusion, don’t let family be tied to a last name or your cray cray Uncle Bert’s kids. Instead, find people who will fight for you even when you seem to be losing control. This is found in school, church, family, random friends that you meet in coffee shops (true story, I’ve experienced it). I do however know that my most beneficial relationships are based around Jesus Christ. Never be afraid to reveal who you are to someone who loves you enough to walk alongside you.

Keep on and keep God my friends