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Renee DeVault

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April 26, 2016

Action Pact takes to the road

April 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

This last weekend the Action Pact travel team packed packed up our bags and jumped in our fifteen passenger van at 10:15 AM to begin what ended up as a seven hour road trip to Cimarron, KS.

Between moments of doing homework, sleeping, and jamming out to the radio our team of six alternated between melting in suffocating heat when the windows were closed or being slapped by relentless wind when the windows were opened.

Action Pact followed Voices of Praise, an eight person singing group, in Clifford, their big red van. This was the second event Action Pact has done with Voices of Praise and by far the most extensive. We stopped and ate lunch together as well as stopped at gas stations so we were able to talk to them.

When we arrived at the church there was pizza provided, we figured out who our host families were, and then went to Dodge city to explore their mall and hang out at Sonic. Some friends from MNU came to Cimarron with us too so it was a huge MNU country party getting to explore the town that some of our good friends from Cimarron spent so much time in growing up.

Sara, Linsey, and I stayed with a family from the church who provided a place for us to stay and a fantastic breakfast in the morning. I wish that we had been able to stay after church for lunch so we could have spent more time with them.

Action Pact did a last minute improv performance for the Youth Group before service which was interesting because while improv is intrinsically made up on the spot, our plan of what games to play and who is playing what games is usually planned out far in advance.

The actual service was probably my favorite part of the trip. Quinn led Voices of Praise in some incredible worship both before and after Action Pact’s performance of “The Complete History of Old Testament in 20 Minutes”. It was my favorite performance we’ve done of that show. I felt like the congregation was very receptive and Quinn was able to tie it into VOP’s next song so the transition felt seamless.

As soon as we had all of our stuff packed up after the service we got out of Cimarron and frantically tried to make it back to Olathe in time for the Theatre Awards Banquet. We were on campus for about five minutes before the banquet started. I was so proud of us.

The banquet was very fun. My fellow improv friend, Justin Collins and I won male and female freshmen of the year award, Quinn won one of the performance of the year awards and Joshua won a One-Act performance of the year award. There were several other awards but I’m afraid I won’t remember them all so I’ll just say congratulations to everybody broadly.

Enjoy some pictures my friend Sara Eigsti took on the trip.

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Renee DeVault

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March 22, 2016

Chicago and Championships

March 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

Over the break a few friends and I stayed at Jordan’s house in Champaign, IL which we used as a home base for getting to Chicago and exploring the city. We had some mishaps along the way such as losing Levi’s bag on the side of the highway when, wrapped in a trash bag to protect it from rain, it escaped the ties binding it to the roof of our car and didn’t even make it into Missouri.

Unfortunately we didn’t realize this had happened until we were a few hours into the trip.

Levi handled things really well though and we were able to lend him clothes/take him on last minute runs to Target so he didn’t have to wear the same two outfits every day of our trip.

We also got to lead worship at Champaign First Church of the Nazarene which was an incredible experience for me. I love being able to serve God along side the people God has put in my life.

I have included some pictures from our Chicago adventures.

The Water Tower mall had a giant Lego store that we went crazy for almost as much as the fancy tea shop that let us have free samples.

The Water Tower mall had a giant Lego store that we went crazy for almost as much as the fancy tea shop that let us have free samples.

Chicago has a free zoo! We got to see all sorts of animals including some crocodiles which are my very favorite.

Chicago has a free zoo! We got to see all sorts of animals including some crocodiles which are my very favorite.

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You can't beat $5 symphony tickets. Their symphony hall is absolutely beautiful and we got to hear some awesome pieces played...plus dressing up all fancy is always fun.

You can’t beat $5 symphony tickets. Their symphony hall is absolutely beautiful and we got to hear some awesome pieces played…plus dressing up all fancy is always fun.

As soon as I got back from Chicago the Trailblazer hit the ground running by covering the men’s basketball game against Georgetown in the Final Four of the NAIA championship. While the men did lose they played a great game and we got to be right there with them.

Joshua, our Editor in Chief, and Chace, one of our video reporters, got press passes and spots reserved for us at the press table. Josh and I sat almost dead center court.

It was probably the most fun I’ve had at an MNU game before although Josh did most of the actual work since he’s writing the story…and actually knows something about sports. After the game we went and did some interviews with the team.

I have a lot of respect for the student athletes on campus. I couldn’t even imagine taking the classes that I’m taking now while also going to workouts and practices everyday with games and tournaments all thrown in. I’m so glad that so much of our community is showing up to championship games and being so supportive.

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Isaac Walker

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March 20, 2016

Spring Break Adventures

March 20, 2016 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

Friday night, I got back from a crazy spring break.  No I was not partying, drinking, or waking up with my friends then discovering a dead body that forces us to make a blood oath so no one ever reveals our secret.  Instead, I was hiking through the Smokey Mountains with Kairos.

19 of us went to rough it up in the wilderness for three days.  We left last Tuesday and drove to Nashville.  We explored a little of downtown Nashville for a few hours then stayed the night at a church in Nashville.  The next morning we drove to our first hiking destination.  All the outlooks were blocked off because they were unstable so we really could not see the waterfalls to well.  From there we drove to Pizza Hut for lunch.  After we got our stomachs full we drove to our final destination where we stayed for the next three days and two nights.  The hike to our camp site was not too difficult.  It was about 2.5 miles and it was beautiful!  The weather was perfect too!  It was about 75 degrees and never rained!

The second day we hiked a little further to a site known as Virgin Falls.  It was a  massive waterfall that flowed out of a cave.  We hiked to the bottom and it was wild. The waterfall was creating huge gusts if wind and mist was flying everywhere!  After that Phil and I hiked to the top and explored the cave that the waterfall flowed from.  It was literally the largest cave I had ever been in!  The next day we packed up and came home!

Here are some pictures of our adventures.

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Hiking to our camp site.

Hiking to our camp site.

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The waterfall at our camp site.

The waterfall at our camp site.

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Chilling at our campsite.

Chilling at our campsite.

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Exploring the river.

Exploring the river.

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Hiking to Virgin Falls.

Hiking to Virgin Falls.

Overall, I loved the trip!  Everyone on the trip grew closer and we all had a blast together!

Until next time friends!

Isaac Walker

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March 11, 2016

Spring Break

March 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

As you all know, this is the last day of classes before our Spring break starts.  Most of us are leaving campus.  Tuesday, I am leaving at 7 in the morning to drive to Tennessee with Kairos.  We are going to be backpacking through the Smokey Mountains.  I have gone on several trips with Kairos and this will be the second time for me in the Smoky Mountains.  Last time I went backpacking through them was two years ago.

We will be back late Friday night.  I am going to do my best in taking pictures to have enough good pics to blog with next week.  I will be posting the blog on Saturday because I wont have access to internet.

Here are some pictures from the trip two years ago.  I did not have as good of a device to take good pictures two years though.

This was the first waterfall we saw on the trip.  This was also as close as we got to it.

This was the first waterfall we saw on the trip. This was also as close as we got to it.

This is a rope bridge that we crossed.

This is a rope bridge that we crossed.

This is the river we crossed.  I love the color of the water.

This is the river we crossed. I love the color of the water.

This is me slightly over packed.  But this was my first ever backpacking trip! And I survived.

This is me slightly over packed. But this was my first ever backpacking trip! And I survived.

This cave is the one we camped in.  The water at night was perfect to sleep to.

This is another waterfall we hiked to.  It is called Virgin Falls and is over 100ft tall.

This is another waterfall we hiked to. It is called Virgin Falls and is over 100ft tall.

This the top of Virgin Falls.

This the top of Virgin Falls.

Hopefully I can get better pictures this time around.  If you all remember, say a few prayers for our group as we are trekking through the mountains.

Until next time friends!

Renee DeVault

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February 29, 2016

Trapping the Mouse

February 29, 2016 | By | No Comments

This last weekend I got the opportunity to play Mollie in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. It’s a murder mystery set in post WWII era England and is probably my favorite show I have been in.

The hair and makeup alone for this production was so incredibly fun. It took almost two hours for me to get fully ready with my makeup, hair, and costuming. Quinn and I had a lot of fun with it though.

I just thought I’d share some of our pictures from dress rehearsal week as well as some pictures of the actors and the set.

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Sam had some incredible aging makeup on him which I loved.

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Nathan was by far the creepiest of us all. I could never tell if it was him or the facial hair though.

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Taking my hair out every night was an interesting process. It always exploded far beyond anything I would have expected. If only I could harness that power for good.

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Our set was incredible. I felt very at home on it by the end of the show and was quite sad to take it down on closing night but that’s the beauty of theater, every end has a beginning. The one act shows will be performed in this space next month and a new set will go up.

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These next few pictures are from dress rehearsals before I got a different shirt and my face/hair done up like a 1950s barbie doll.

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This role was probably one of my favorites because of the wide range of emotions that the character goes through. Mollie seems all bubbly and happy but she has a secret which haunts her through the whole show as well as what my director called “quite a backbone.” She’s a little crazy. But maybe it’s fun to be crazy.

   

This show was an awesome experience. I got to finally learn how to do a British accent and pencil my eyebrows…you know…essential skills learned in college 😉

Renee DeVault

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February 15, 2016

Feeling the Love

February 15, 2016 | By | One Comment

This weekend was absolutely incredible and full of love. Usually I wouldn’t cheese up Valentine’s day but this weekend was actually really special to me.

Friday and Saturday I went to the Women of Faith Farewell Tour at the Sprint Center. Their theme was Loved and it was one of the most encouraging conferences I have ever been to.

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Most of the women who did this conference had been traveling and speaking together for twenty years. Several of the speakers were over sixty years old. It was incredibly encouraging to see women completely command that space, share their testimonies, and be still working and serving God to an incredible extent at their age.

I haven’t seen a lot of women preaching so it was awesome to get to hear their multiple styles and see much more strength and humor than I ever expected.

Plus I got to spend the weekend with my Mama.

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I was really happy that she brought me. She’s been to several of these conferences and knew of the speakers already. It was so sweet of her to take me and to buy me cotton candy which is also sweet.

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Most of the messages were about the revolutionary nature of God’s love. There was a large comparison made between adoption and God’s love for us. I also enjoyed the aspects in which they discussed the deep human need to be loved and to love. It was things I had heard before but they stated it in new ways which really made me think, including in some short dramas which was awesome to me since I travel to churches doing skits with Action Pact.

The conference as a whole impacted me the most through the experiencing of very powerful women who were also absolutely hilarious. I could see myself trying something like this in the future if God will allow me. It was something that I logically knew was a possibility but to see it in action in front of me will be a memory that I can really hold on to.

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Sunday, following the conference was Valentine’s Day. For most of the day Quinn was off singing with Voices of Praise so I had an awesome day Co-leading Youth Group at Faith Journey church, going to service, making a Chipotle run, then going to my college small group.

Around dinner time though I got Quinn back! Woo!

He was able to come over to my house (I grew up five minutes from campus) and got to experience a DeVault family Valentines Day.

For years my mom has made a yummy Italian dinner and decorates the table with pretty red table cloths and hearts. We get together, drink sparkling apple cider out of wine glasses, and eat by candle light. Dad gives my mom roses which also help to decorate the room and mom gives all of us boxes of chocolate.

I was thrilled that Quinn was able to join my family this year.

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After family dinner Quinn and I got to do our Valentine’s Day tradition.

Quinn and I started dating roughly three years ago on February 10th. Since this was only four days before Valentine’s day we decided to do something super low pressure. So on our third date ever, we went to Starbucks to talk and exchange homemade Valentine’s cards.

This was our fourth Valentine’s day and the tradition is still going strong.

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We have so much fun just talking and making each other smile with our “wonderful” artwork. Plus then we have something to keep to remember our date.

And we save money so that’s pretty awesome 😉

Isaac Walker

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December 4, 2015

The Space Between

December 4, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

We are in the home stretch. These next few weeks are going to be tough and stressful for a lot of us.  I know they definitely will be for me!  For me, it’s been a little rough getting back in the groove coming back from Thanksgiving break.  It was like a strange teaser for the moment we all are waiting for…Winter break!   The end of the semester!

All the anticipation and excitement isn’t really helping with trying to study for finals and finish all those long term assignments that have been put off to the very last minute.  And I literally mean the last minute.   I may have turned a paper in at 11:59 that was due at 12:00am…But at least it was on time!

This post kind of relates to my post earlier about stress management.  This is about keeping the motivation strong though.  Wanting to give up and drop out of school is a common thought that runs through my head on the daily.  Remember the end goal.  What you want to do after college.

Set goals when you are studying.  Every hour you can take a break.  Eat a snack!  If you are reading, put little candies on the page that make you want to read more.  I use Junior Mints because I’m a chocolate/mint eating fiend.

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If you’re into a certain show, let’s say the new Netflix series Jessica Jones, after you have reached your goal of reading take a break and watch half of the show then go back to studying when your brain has recovered.  I do this with YouTube videos because they are short and I have no self control when it comes to my favorite shows on Netflix…

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Keep one evening free during the week!  Go out with your friends and do something fun.  Don’t lock yourself up!  Get out and get some social interaction other than the weirdos in the library that are silently sobbing into their textbooks.  Don’t be a textbook sobber.

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Just know that we will make it through this stressful time together!  Christmas is right around the corner.

Until next time friends!  Merry finals week!

Renee DeVault

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November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving in Texas

November 30, 2015 | By | No Comments

For Thanksgiving break I went with Quinn, my mom, my dad, and my brother to Houston, Texas to visit my family.

I thought I would share some of my pictures from the trip :)

We left right after classes on Tuesday and spent almost fifteen hours in the car over the course of two days

We left right after classes on Tuesday and spent almost fifteen hours in the car over the course of two days

Quinn, my mom, and my brother at a Jack in the Box somewhere southern

Quinn, my mom, and my brother at a Jack in the Box somewhere southern

Driving through Dallas was absolutely gorgeous

Driving through Dallas was absolutely gorgeous

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My cousin Blair and I set the tables for the big meal on Thursday

My cousin Blair and I set the tables for the big meal on Thursday

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This little girl kept me company for most of Thursday. She's so adorable!

This little girl kept me company for most of Thursday. She’s so adorable!

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Friday we went to a University of Houston football game. I know nothing about sports but Quinn and I managed to have fun. It was just great to hang out with family.

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We drove home Saturday and Sunday.

It was great to see family that I hadn’t seen in a while. I decided also to thank God for three main things this year.

  1. For my Family. They have supported me through all of my crazy endeavors and they love me. I know that means a lot.
  2. For my Friends. Coming back to MNU and seeing them again after being away for a while really made me realize how much I have come to love them and depend on them as an everyday part of my life.
  3. For MNU. That sounds cheesy, but hearing about other colleges from my cousins and going to a big school for a football game made me realize how well suited MNU is for me. My professors really care about me and I really care about them. I’ve been given so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten at a big state school. I am very thankful for being here.

A little over two weeks are left in my first semester of college. I am both relieved and a little saddened. I will miss this semester greatly.

Katie Linsey

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November 21, 2015

Phonathon 2015 Recap

November 21, 2015 | By | One Comment

A few days ago, all the Phonathon team gathered in our call center for one last time to celebrate our successful year and say goodbye to the nights of calling alumni while playing hangman with each other and coloring with crayons.

My second year of working at Phonathon was very different from my first year. This year, instead of calling for the whole campaign, I coached new callers for the first half.

Coaching new callers put me in a kind of supervisory role that I’ve been in before in other situations, but never for Phonathon. It was a really great experience and it helped me learn more about how to help people based on their unique strengths and weaknesses. It also helped me figure out more about what it means to lead a group of people. It was fun helping people improve their skills based on my own experience the previous year.

Coaching the team also gave me the opportunity to get to know most of the student workers, which was a huge blessing. Phonathon is such a special job because it gives students the opportunity to meet other students that they usually wouldn’t meet. I can honestly say I met so many cool people that I want to continue hanging out with outside of Phonathon.

Looking back to last year’s Phonathon, I remember meeting a few awesome people that I still consider good friends today. That’s what happens when you spend almost every evening with the same people for a few months. (Shout-out to Marisa Schmidt and Kory Gilmore.)

Phonathon has taught me so many practical skills too, like how to connect with people you just met. It was genuinely so fun to call donors and talk to them about their experience at MNU and what they’re up to now. I don’t know exactly what I want to do after college, so when I called someone that studied the same thing that I am, it was good to talk to them about what they decided to use their degree for.

Long story short, Phonathon is a great job and I’m really thankful that I had another opportunity to be a part of the team this year.

So… if you’re reading this and you plan on being at MNU next school year, make sure to apply for Phonathon for a chance to be hired for the best job on campus. 😉

-KT

Stephanie Krohn

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October 28, 2015

English – Steffi, Steffi – English

October 28, 2015 | By | No Comments

In my latest Interpersonal Communication assignement, the students were asked to say whether they determine meaning by looking at each word or considering the person, the background, and the context. Normally, I would have answered second, but lately I had some language “accidents” that would suggest that I go by word for word.

As a foreigner, it takes a lot of time to really learn a language. The only thing that helps is PRACTICE! Before I came here, I learned a lot about the English language. I learned the grammar, the vocabulary, and the difference between British and American English. Obviously, the last point didn’t really impact me because I will still give you my mobile number or ask you to go to the cinemax. If I ask for chips, I will get chips and not the expected fries, and I quickly found out that I play soccer and not football. Learning a language is a long journey, and you can’t take it without falling into embarrassing traps or annoying people. When I landed in Kansas, I thought I was prepared. I knew all the basics, and I even brought my handy, little dictionary. The first challenge was ordering food in Waffle House: My dictionary could not tell me what hashbrowns or gravy are. Luckily, the pictures on the menu saved my life. The next thing I struggled with was ordering ice-cream. My roommate told me six times that a floater was pop with ice-cream on top of it. It took us ten minutes of frustration and millions of “Can you repeat that please?” until she finally realized that I had never heard the word “pop” before. Also, Europeans don’t tip like Americans, so I want to take thta opportunity to apologize to all the waiters and waitresses who think that I am rude and never tipped them. Besides learning all the positions in soccer which made me look like a fool, I had to learn new phrases like “looking for bae”, “ring by spring”, and “you do you boo-boo” – not to mention all the abreviation people would send me like “smh” or “tbh”. What the heck?

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My little helper has gone through a lot

Translating word by word became essential for me in order to understand people. Plus, if I didn’t know a word, I could ask immediately. Whenever I listen for context, I trip over unknown words. I still get the broad idea, but if someone asks me afterwards if I could repeat what was just said I am lost. That is why normal group conversations used to be the scariest thing for me. I could never participate because if I listened for the context, I’d misunderstand half of it. If i listened word by word, I was too slow to make a comment to that topic. At the beginning, it takes a long time to translate a setence from one language into another. The trick is to be tolerant and open to mistakes. I don’t know how many times I was made fun of, but I can guarantee my friends had a great time asking me if I could repeat that last sentence again. It also takes tolerance from your surrounding. I often ask my rommate if she could repeat the last thing she said because I didn’t understand what she was saying. Sometimes, I even need to ask twice or three times. Worst case scenario is that after asking four times, I still don’t know what she had said, and I just nod which is not a good solution. I only got away with this a few times.

Once, I hit the point when I started to think in English, everything became easier. I didn’t have to think about the structure of my sentences all the time, and I learned more words to express myself. Yet, I still make a lot of mistakes, but that is okay as long as somebody explained to me what is going on. The other day, I thought negative test results were bad, until somebody told me that negative in this case meant “nothing found” hence good news. I patiently try to pick up on words and phrases as quickly as I can which can be really bad sometimes as well. Like every other person, I pick up those words I shouldn’t. Way too often, I start my sentences with “Like”, “Literally”, or “What’s her face”; plus I found myself using the word “Savage”. Also, I randomly start speaking German to people sometimes when I come into the room after talking to my mom on the phone. I did that to my roommate once and it was fun to see her clueless face. On the other hand, I am an easy victim for her because she can set me up so easily. It is harder to tell if somebody is sarcastic or ironic when you are a foreigner, so I was really upset when she told me today she was moving out. Word by word translation: She was moving out. Context, Person, Backgound analysis: She is a savage! First, I believed her; then I figured out she was messing with me.

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All in all, I can say I am almost fluent in two languages and most of the time, I don’t have any problems. If I do, I just picture others learning German. Here is a little bit of inspiration:

German compared to other languages (YouTube video)