Whether it would be watching TV, playing a sport, drawing (for me its more like doodling), getting on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (I don’t do Pinterest, but I know peeps that do…. dancing, working-out, playing video games-LITERALLY WHATEVER “floats your boat”, there is a time and a place where Pleasure and Play is necessary.
Yes I said necessary.
God did create the Sabbath as a time of rest. That’s back in Genesis 2:2-3. Jesus Christ even said that the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27). Observing and resting on the Sabbath (originally our Saturday) was done in order that human beings would keep their sanity and not succumb to becoming workaholics.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above…” -James 1:17. Paraphrasing words from C.S. Lewis:
The Lord is disappointed with our desires. Disappointed because our desires are too weak. Every pleasure and good thing has been created by God. Sure Satan can twist good things and pervert them, to where they become unhealthy.
But Truly, Every single good thing is from God and He does like for us to play, rest, and take pleasure in good fun things!!
Working, studying, paying bills, budgeting, are great things. But I will argue that part of being responsible is living a full life.
A full life must be a balanced life. Following Christ includes knowing JOY :D. It’s one of the results or “fruits” from the Holy Spirit (2nd on the list right after Love and before Peace and Patience Galatians 5:22-23).
So, please be aware that a full life means having fun and enjoying time to relax, rest, recharge, and LIVE.
Friends, because of MNU I may or may not be a saver of lives.
So you may be thinking, “Mario, you are one arrogant person. What in the sweet Fritos are you talking about?”
Well friends, MNU has consistently hosted American Red Cross Blood Drives. Last year, I donated blood for the first time first semester. The second time was Spring semester and then this past week, was my third time. Each time it’s been a pleasant and worthwhile experience. This is despite the fact that I am like most people and not Needles’ number 1 fan:
Needles never fail to poke…
But truly friends donating blood can save people who need blood transfusions. Perhaps a person got into an accident, and had a lot of blood loss. Well, with the donations from people just like you and me, you could prevent them from any further devastation!! This is a real thing peeps.
In my high school we would have Blood Drives. At the institution of higher learning that I attend, keeping the support for Blood Drives has not diminished. And that is a good thing:
For most people, it is a pleasant experience. Just look at this guy giving blood:
After the initial poke, the blood just flows into the bag. And on my lap was my Sociology textbook.
Speaking of Sociology, here’s Bo Cassel the Chair of the Sociology Department:
Note: Professor Cassel was bending his knees to shorten his height by at least 4 inches.
Plus friends, when you donate blood you get to eat goodies like these:
Cheez-It Crackers are where it’s at!
And Yes, they give out stickers!!!!
Plus it’s great quality people that work at these Blood Drive donations that help keep the people(like myself) keep coming back for more.
From left to right: Dan, Linda, Stephen, and Mario.
So look up RedCross.org/Donation or call 1.800.733.2767.
It’s a good idea think about it friends. You can literally be a life-saver.
Until next time, Peace in the Middle East and know that you are loved.
Mario Paul Flores
P.S. Here are some pics of the injection, and a video of the needle being removed. For the sake of others, I will not put any of the pictures that I think could cause Simply more controversy.
So they lather on some Iodine, a strong disinfectant, and I get to have a some yellowy orangy stuff on my arm.
And for viewer discretion I am not posting a pic of the needle actually inside of them. But here’s a video of Stephen taking it out!
Ultimately Friends, it is Christ that saves lives. Predominantly He uses people to do so.
If you are interested in seeing what an MNU Chapel looks like, here’s a video that has glimpses of what it is:
With the rather cold, below freezing, below 0 feeling, icy, snowy weather, Soccer-in Land Gym, and Late night/early mornings have been much more common place this past week.
I will still take this weather over 100 degree weather any day.
White on white, snow on my car. It only took like 6 minutes to shovel everything AND my car started no problem Hooray for no need of jumper cables!
Underneath the snow, there were some layers of ice…
If you punch it a few times, the ice cracks and breaks, and can then be removed. I tried taking a video but it was so dark nothing could be seen. (These pics are taken with flash)
I always think it’s a cool sight to see my breath. I promise though, I brush my teeth so it’s not visible because it’s ratchet. However, my beard somewhat appears to be! For whatever reason the right side naturally fluffs out more than the left :S
Moving on, with the beloved Snow Days that MNU had two of, two things were especially on the rise in the spending of my time.
The man jumping in the picture is Italy’s soccer star MARIO Balotelli, we kind of look alike right?
Only, with our socces it’s these incredible people that play in our beloved Land Memorial Gymnasium (Or just Land Gym).
These people all came out Monday night. The night we found out a Snow Day was to be our tomorrow!
Typically Killian will text a few people, and after word spreads we meet at the gym and play. Literally all people of all skill levels are welcome. From novice-never-played-before persons, to some of our actual men and women soccer stars from our actual soccer team that come and show us a good time and challenge, to everyone else in the middle, soccer is a great community building-exercise fulfilling sport. Games can have scores kept track of (which most of the time it is) or we just play till time runs out and people have to go home. The mood is virtually always light and positive. While at the same time, there’s still space to compete and get better!
Afterwards, I thought I’d give a brief tour of Land Gym so here are 3 videos of our beloved place to work out, relax, eat, study, and enjoy one another’s company.
1st is a video just after the end of our soccer playing:
2nd is a video of the Tipping Point a place full of couches and other sitting furniture. Also there’s a stage, theater seats for occasional movie nights, a piano for the clearly cool and classy peeps that can play it-Yes that was an attempt at alliteration. We also have Improv shows and Open Mic nights here! My sincere apologies for the lighting though! Oh and one more thing we have a free hot chocolate, coffee, and chai tea machine in here!
3rd We have Land Café. This place is open 9pm to Midnight from Sunday till Thursday. Because our Cafeteria closes at 7, having this place with food-such as my personal favorites: Bosco Sticks or Cream Cheese pretzels!! Late night snacks are a dream that’s actually a reality. Especially since we can pay for the items by using our flex dollars(amount of money put onto your student ID card that’s built in from your tuition.) So for those who don’t have a debit or credit card, you can still pay by swiping and feeling adult like:P
SO, after playing soccer in the night time, I returned back to my dorm room to hang out with some quality peeps.
Now you’ll find that late night-or typically-early morning hang out times are often entertaining. For example, at 4 o’clock in the morning, when cards fall out of one’s hand-that one being one of my best friends Joey V. it’s one of the most hilarious things ever. So here’s a clip of me trying to capture the moment.
And fear not, Joey was cool with this being shown here.
So Monday night/ Tuesday morning we had a great time playing card games and sharing stories.
Front left is my roommate Caleb and above his forearm is my good friend Leon.
Alas-ish Classes started back up, and with all the time available to do school work during the snow days, hardly was done. So staying up a little later and using the Ping-Pong room as a study room worked well for me. Yay for procrastinating! Not.
I must confess though friends, if one keeps up a late night/early morning lifestyle, it’s pretty much inevitable that Coffee (or some other caffeine drink) and naps will be your best friends. So please beware of that.
Till next time friends, I’ll just keep living the dream.
“We were created with the capacity to live life one day at a time. So make it to where your work load will only be that of one day.”
I confess that lately I have been rather stressed and disheveled with my schedule, roles, and responsibilities. But if the afore mentioned quote is truth, then I believe that with effort, diligence, and discipline-balance and peace of mind are possible.
So, paying attention to my schedules from school, church, and work I’m working to do this.
I have learned friends that in: staying up late (and not being able to sleep in with 8 and 9am classes-the struggle is real), not keeping up with assigned readings for consecutive days at a time, treating studying as a chore and not as an opportunity-an opportunity to please, serve, and worship the Lord-if all those negative things are done, feelings of being overwhelmed, high stress and high potential for breakdown are highly likely to take place.
I’m confident that nobody wants any of that.
Sure there is such a thing as eustress (stress that is actually good for you). Okay, I’ll concede that, but friends if we can manage our time wisely and focus on putting “first things first”, stress that has no benefit will affect us less negatively. Life will be more enjoyable and fuller.
“Take care of yourself.”-Wise words.
Peace in the Middle East friends! Know that you’re loved,
Mario Paul Flores.
PS Here are some moments from the past week I wanted to share with y’all:
This is just a wee bit colder than the 80 degree weather back home. But trust me when I say that I will take 10 degree weather over 100 degrees anytime (anytime as in I have warm enough clothes for it)
I’m continuing to learn Greek! The Top line says “God I love.” and the bottom says “The Lord Christ I love.”
Here’s the man that’s teaching myself and others Greek. And yes, Randy is trying on yet another hat.
I like seeing snow outside the window :D
Let it snow…as long as driving conditions can remain safe that it is.
I’ve mapped out my planner (This is just two pages of the 3 months worth of work I did! Credit to Jamie for her persuading motivational speech to manage my time more efficiently! :D Organization Station I might be on my way! Maybe… Hopefully…
So yeah, just 11 thoughts that I wanted to share. Here they are written out:
11. It’s always a frightening moment when you’re not sure if all that came out was just gas.
10. There is no “morning after” or regret when a person follows Christ. (Without going into any details, there have frankly been times in my life when I woke up in the morning wishing I had made different decisions the previous day.)
9. Faith, particularly faithfulness to Him, is risky.
8. Vulnerability too is risky; but I have found that the reward far outweighs the cost.
7. Don’t just mask the smell… with Deodorant, or cologne, or body spray, or Febreeze… Instead: take a shower, or wash your clothes, or clean
your room, or all of the above. But consider doing all of the former on top of the latter.
6. Procrastinating only makes sense for a little while, but eventually…
5. All real truth is God’s; fear not where you find it.
4. Virtually everyone, at every level, enjoys and learns best through stories.
3. Err on the side of grace; often we have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes.
2. I’ve learned that whenever I flush the toilet, I will no longer leave my eyes open.
1. He isn’t just an all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent Being; He is a Person, He feels, He loves, He cares-for all; all includes you.
P.S. this video would not have been possible without it being shot and edited by a great and talented friend of mine: Blake Nelson. Blake is one of the Resident Educators for our school. If you read last week’s blog, just know that he’s a “friendly, neighborhood” kind of guy.
First off, here’s a pic from the wonderful, coveted by some, loved by most, native to the West Coast: In-N-Out Burger:
Their menus are so simple, yet so efficiently lovely. (not sure if efficiently is a word, but there’s no squiggly red line underneath it so I think I’m good!) AND this was taken just before flying back here to Kansas.
And then when I got back early, for RA training, one of our RE’s who I will just say is from California himself, and also a lover of In-N-Out, shared with us some wisdom over the Spring semester. Wisdom that was only amplified by the wearing of a Spider-Man costume.
Another great opportunity I’ve had hear at MNU is to work in the Office of University Advancement. It’s lovely white collar work for me, a mere assistant: Making thank you calls to donors, taking out trash, emptying shredders, folding thank you letters, vacuuming, etc. Oh and taking a selfie since I dressed up for fancy Friday (though that’s not necessarily a real thing…)
Of course, Randy Cloud fears not trying on new things as head gear. Even if it’s KC Wolf and one that belongs to one of his students-which it wasn’t mine.
He was helping me review my Greek Alphabet while I took this pic.
This is the book that Bo Cassel, the Department Chair of Sociology, wrote.
That’s it for this week folks! For now, Peace in the Middle East!
And there will be peace when He returns:D
Oh and here’s an American Idol contestant that I’ve had a few people say looks like me…
Obviously he sings better than me though, and is more handsome…
So spent almost a week with these beautiful people that are my family for Christmas time:D
Then most of us went sledding.
Mariah having a blast!
Melanie also enjoying her first time sledding.
Then went back to Cali–on the way to Mex, and spent time with more family. Here is my saintly Abuelita. Now I may look tall, but that’s only cause she’s literally about 4’9″. But don’t matter cause it’s a sure thing that Satan is afraid of this petite statured, giant sized heart and faith woman.
This is my cousin Karina and Little Richard. (Little Richard as opposed to Richard Jr.)
with my beautiful cousins from south of the border. From left to right: Deborah/Debbie, Rebecca, and Leah-pronounced Star Wars style.
To my right are my aunt and uncle who pastor in Mexicali, Mexico. If nothing else, the opportunity to gain wisdom from a 20-30 minute conversation with my uncle, that was worth the entire trip of coming down from AZ. They let me serve at their living and growing church over the weekend, by preaching to their Jr. Highers, teaching to their Jr. Highers, and being a part of the Praise and Worship team playing the guitar and singing. Also, we were eating at undoubtedly the greatest Taco place on the face of the earth–according to my biased opinion.
So after Mexico, crossing back over, I had the chance to reunite with some friends from high school. Which included this bestie: Brett Bird.
This was when we visited Point Loma Nazarene University….
Here we are enjoying wardrobe at Burlington Coat Factory shopping for Homecoming attire. (We wore neither of those vests.)
Here was us on Decades Day.
Junior Year we even coached PowderPuff Football together. Yes we beat the then Seniors, and then we played our cross town rivals and also beat them!
But it wasn’t just the two of us…. Sean Arviso, the coolest and manliest of the 3 of Bromigos. (And Brett photoshopped me into this pic since I had already moved away by summer time… Wolverine was my Halloween costume)
So here’s Brett and I at Denny’s swapping glasses and sitting across from the couple.
Here’s the engaged couple. Almost ready for a nice pic.
There we are And I was asked and I accepted to be a groomsmen!!
Here’s Diego Lopez. Basically a better, more mature version of me. Can sing higher, play drums better, rock his hair better, live as a Christ-like example better. He’s just great. I am honored to be his older brother. While spending the night at his house, we spoke from 1230ish to 530ish!!! Great catching up and sharing was done:D
Alas my mom and I drove back to Arizona. Check out all the cacti!! Saguaros I think they are called.
Lastly, the toughest part of this break, believe it or not-however cheesy it may sound- has been being away from my special lady Jamie Furnas!
Thankfully, inventions such as the telephone, Skype, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook helped us be able to stay connected in one sense at least. Totally stoked am I to see her beautiful face tomorrow night!!
Hope these pics and vids were able to bring a smile or two to y’all faces!
Oh and here’s a video of my new favorite song to play and sing. Called Gracious Tempest. Originally done by Hillsong from their Young and Free Album, but this guy does a good job playing it as well:)
We begin with me and my bags, almost ready to depart from MNU
But before leaving, I had to park my car with the rest of the cars that are being left for break. (Right next to Campus Safety’s Office)
Real quick here’s a screen shot of my Maps App describing the wonderful distance and time of the “by land” trip home.
Yeah, flying is just a wee bit faster.
So after being picked up by Jamie, I got to eat some MickieDs breakfast with her beautiful self!
Well, after being dropped off a nice hour and a half before my flight were to take off, I wait. But thankfully, I brought my books and am going through Professor Flemming’s libro!
So I kind of had Jamie drop me off at the wrong terminal. I was supposed to go to C, but I had her drop me off at A, thinking that United Airlines was the same thing as U.S. Airways…. That is not the case. So I took the red bus to terminal C. Then I found out that because my first flight was delayed, I got rebooked to take an entirely different route-with an entirely different airline: U.S. Airways. So back to terminal A I had to go, and here is that picture.
I got past through the second round of TSA agents for the day, and was awaiting at my gate. Now instead of leaving at 1130 as I was supposed to, I was to leave at 3. BUT it was going to be a direct flight. Instead of two as originally supposed. Also, instead of arriving at 415, I was just going to be arriving at 451. Talk about Score!!
While waiting, I saw this sign and was like “Yes, definitely the best way to travel.” Only I don’t carry a purse or murse, I bring a backpack:D
Being there three hours before departure, it was pretty vacant, so I took a nap.
When I woke up around and hour later, there was a lady sitting across from me. So I decided to ask if she was on the Phoenix flight, she was. Then I asked why be so early, she had been working all through the night, and after not sleeping well figured, why not just come to the airport already? I’m cool with that, cause we talked for like the next hour or so and now I have a new friend! Margaret you rock!! And peeps, she works in the hospital and serves as a respiratory therapist. She helps bring the breath of life back to people!! Specifically individuals that are infants or younger. Totes obvi is she a boss!!
This is the step from the terminal onto the airplane. It probably just felt more epic than it truly was, but whatevs.
I got on the plane, got an aisle seat and was ready to start heading home!!
Fastforward to arrival, and skip me taking another nap that a polite Troy sitting by the window, who had to use the restroom, waited patiently till I awoke to ask to move past me to get to it, and skip the takeoff and landing since I couldn’t video it because I’d have been videoing Troy-whom I didn’t even know his name at that point until then.
Anyway, though I packed two carry on items, I volunteered to check my lil’ suitcase, which I thought meant that I would get it back to me right after landing, as in in the terminal, but nope had to go to baggage claim (which defeats the whole purpose of bring two carry on items) But no worries, my bag was not lost–it did get put on a different carousel, from some of the rest of the peeps on my flight, but I found it!
Caught up with Margaret again, had her identical twin sister Mary take this photo, told her to check out mnu.edu/blogs so that she could see the pics I were taking, weren’t purely for my own enjoyment. Which btw sorry I got this posted Saturday as opposed to Friday Margaret!!
Fastforward 3 hours of driving from the airport to here, and here’s my home:)
And here’s my backyard:
Inside the home, it feels homeE
First time in almost ten years that we have stockings put up!
Then there has been the activities that have gone on outside:
Here’s Mom and Dad with us picking out our Xmas tree.
By the way, some people get upset or disgruntled when people write Xmas instead of Christmas for concern that Christ is being removed. Well if you think or know people that think that, share with them that it began as an abbreviation for Christmas centuries ago since the first letter in the Greek spelling of Christ is the letter X. Therefore X represents Christ. It is an abbreviation with the same meaning. And though X in English is used/pronounced in the same way that X-men Wolverine is, it’s supposed to be Christmas.
Anyway, moving along to some more outdoor activities:)
I got to help my dad saw off some dead branches. Now though, they were weak, thin, and dead I still did it okay!
Here’s Dad now, at the end when I made manly grunts, for whatever reason they startled him:P
Here are some Xmas lights that we put up:
Here’s our front porch with luces.
And finally this has been a lesson that’s been renailed into my heart as of late.
I think if anyone will venture to look hard and long enough, he or she will find that they are in need.
I am not exempt.
But at least there is always hope.
Well that’s it for this week friends. Peace in the Middle East, Merry Christmas (or Xmas) And I hope you enjoy this song by Cloverton!