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Katie Linsey


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. 😉


Stephanie Krohn


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?


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)

Renee DeVault


October 19, 2015

How to Make Friends with the Awkward Dinosaur

October 19, 2015 | By | No Comments

One question that I get asked all the time is, “Renee! My goodness, you are a college student now, what ever is your major?”

I reply with “Good Sir or Madam, I am a double major in “Bible and Theology” and “Communications”. I love it very much.”

To which they reply, “Good heavens! What an unusual combination! What ever do you plan to do with your life?”

And they receive from me a blank look of alarm because despite my air of cool collectedness I am quite uncertain of my path in life. This fact never really bothers me unless somebody asks me about it. I know I am supposed to be a Bible and Theology major. I know I am supposed to be a communications major. I know I am supposed to be at MNU. I’d say I’m pretty well off for now.

As my boyfriend Quinn (Quinston Churchill, Quintonamore, Quinny-the-pooh, Because of Quinn Dixie, Quinn to the Woods) often tells me, “God doesn’t give you the tickets until you’re ready to board the train.”

Quinn and I at homecoming this weekend

Quinn and I at homecoming this weekend

So I’ll be content waiting at the station with my bible and giant communications text book nerding out over communications theories and how they relate to the bible and my group of friends.

Speaking of friends, I had a lot of fun this homecoming!

Friday night a group of us went down into Kansas City for an adventure

Friday night a group of us went down into Kansas City for an adventure

Quinn and I love going on adventures like these with our friends

Quinn and I love going on adventures like these with our friends

We often compare Jordan to Ted from How I Met Your Mother so we made him take this photo with a dumpster

We often compare Jordan to Ted from How I Met Your Mother so we made him take this photo with a dumpster

We found an alley with art all over the walls. It was insanely cool stuff and we had a lot of fun with it.

We found an alley with art all over the walls. It was insanely cool stuff and we had a lot of fun with it.

Quinn had a brilliant idea to start posing with the art.

Quinn had a brilliant idea to start posing with the art.

Alex and Shakespeare

Alex and Shakespeare

We went to "Thou Mayest",  an awesome coffee shop in Kansas City

We went to “Thou Mayest”, an awesome coffee shop in Kansas City

We got up on the roof of the coffee shop and had a cool view of the city.

We got up on the roof of the coffee shop and had a cool view of the city.

Saturday afternoon we decided to go to the Cider Mill.

Saturday afternoon we decided to go to the Cider Mill.

Sparkling cider and donuts made an awesome pre-homecoming snack

Sparkling cider and donuts made an awesome pre-homecoming snack

Homecoming was incredible. Quinn and I have a fun habit of attempting to ballroom dance to pop songs

Homecoming was incredible. Quinn and I have a fun habit of attempting to ballroom dance to pop songs

Sunday afternoon we went to IKEA for dinner and adventuring

Sunday afternoon we went to IKEA for dinner and adventuring

Throughout our adventures this weekend, one of my communication theories stuck out in my head. Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor’s Social Penetration Theory basically states that deeper intimacy and closer friendships with people can be achieved through a process of self-disclosure and vulnerability.

It explains personality like an onion where, to get to a person’s core, you need to get through layers of more shallow or obvious information. It encourages, to gain more meaningful and intimate relationships, voluntarily opening up to people with both depth and breadth. This basically means letting people know who you really are, what you really think, and letting them have this information for multiple areas of your life.

There’s a lot more to it, but that’s the key point.

When we first studied this theory (sorry Dr. Hamilton) I thought it seemed nice, but I doubted that simply telling deep and diverse stories would lead to close friendships. I thought personality, similarity, and spending time together would be bigger factors, however, when I was out with some of my friends this weekend I began to think about this theory a little bit more.

Our trip to the city brought out conversations of various Kansas City experiences and city experiences in general. When we got to the coffee shop and were walking around we got into a conversation about experiences with spiritual warfare and our vision for Kansas City as a church. This formed into a conversation about our personal strengths and weaknesses.

Our cider mill trip sparked conversation about fall and Halloween family traditions which led to talking about our families and fall traditions we miss now that we’re in college.

Going to IKEA led to conversation about our future plans and dreams.

These are some of my closest friends. Over the course of a single weekend we hit several topics of conversation and we have known each other long enough to be comfortable in talking about things we wouldn’t usually talk about with casual friendships. We were naturally participating in this communications theory without even realizing it, but now that I’ve learned about it I can use it to make other friends.

But self-disclosure involves vulnerability which is difficult to do. In order to grow in my boldness to share to and be open with potential close friends I have turned to the bible.

In 2 Corinthians 6:11 Paul writes “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.”

The Beginning of James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

So as I love and appreciate my friends, I realize that I can’t keep my spiritual life, struggles, visions, and dreams a secret from my friends. It’s in the Bible and in my Communications Text book so I should probably listen to it.

I’m the girl who runs around IKEA acting like a raptor from Jurassic Park…I need all the help making friends I can get.

Points I’m praying over.

  1. I want to be willing to be real with my friends. If God is really the center of my life I want to be willing to talk about him and my relationship with him including struggles and visions. I want to be vulnerable to my friends so as to better the kingdom of God.
  2. I want to be the kind of person that people feel comfortable opening up to without fear. As deep of information they want to give and about any subject they want to give it I want to be trustworthy enough in their eyes to be someone to have a close friendship with.







Haley Raydo


April 20, 2015

The Power of Friendship

April 20, 2015 | By | One Comment

Hello friends

The school year is coming to an end– so naturally I get all sentimental.  I am so thankful for all that my college experience at MNU has offered me.  Amazing professors, a high quality education, plenty of memories, etc.  I think by far the best thing the LORD and MNU has blessed me with this year are my roommates.

If you would have asked me back in high school how I would feel living with five girls I probably would have grimaced at the thought.  However, I have never been surprised by such a big and amazing blessing.

Let me tell you about them:

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Sarah & Anna (the twinsies) are seriously funny and seriously sweet.  Anna (middle) is sassy and sweet– the perfect combination!  The looks and sarcastic comments make me laugh way too hard! And then she’ll turn it right back around and be just too sweet! She always can get a laugh out of any of us!  I can picture her head tilt right about now… Sarah (right) is nicknamed “mama Sarah” because she is naturally so nurturing and gentle.  Every group needs a nurturer!  She is always checking in to see that all of us are okay.  These girls are such a blessing, very distinct from the rest of the world.  They always have a smile on their face– day-brighteners!


Rachel is one of the kindest lady I have ever met.  Always quick to listen, and probably wouldn’t hurt a fly.  I have never seen her angry.  What a gift she is to an angry and impatient world!  It’s almost embarrassing to complain to her because she hardly ever complains!  She challenges you to be better simply by her actions.



Mckenna is bold and adventurous.  She never fails to make just a little more exciting.  If any of us need something planned, she is the one to do it!  Kenna knows how to get things done!  She is there when we need to cry watching Grey’s Anatomy or eat a hot pocket, there to quickly come to any of our defense, she is always on our side.


Randi is my partner in crime, a leader,a loyal friend, and a world-changer.  We first met at the beginning of freshman year– we’ve been through it all. Laughs until we cry, and cries until we laugh.  She instantly knows when I am upset, and knows when to give space and when to be there.  She doesn’t follow the crowd, but is in-tune and patient to hear what God has for her.  She is a blessing to us all.  This girl is going to do big things.

I have so many other blessings as friends–


My childhood best friend (who came to MNU with me) Annie, makes me laugh hard.  Annie and I will never fail to be goofy together.  All that, yet we can still have long controversial theological and political conversations without any anger or insults added (rare I know).  She is truly a blessing, a kind and sweet soul.

So many others- my siblings, peoples from my church, and from high school, all my guy friends (shout out!).




I guess I say all this just to say, your friends are an important part of who you are (especially if you live with them, hint the emphasis on my roommates).  It is important to surround yourself with people who are there to support and build you up, to challenge and to help you grow.  Also it is important to share your gratitude.  Nothing wrong with a little praise on the people who mean so much!

I challenge you to post about your friends that have become so meaningful! Share your gratitude with others and the Lord.

Maybe I just get sentimental knowing we only have one more year altogether.  Who knows.


Thanks for stopping by


Haley Raydo


April 14, 2015

A Challenge from a Counseling Psychology Theory

April 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

So currently I am taking a Fundamentals of Counseling course for my major.  It is very interesting to learn about the different theories on how to help people.  People of all different types, with all different challenges, that need help getting through the day to day.

One type we have been talking about is called positive psychology.  Now this is definitely not my favorite theory out there, I think sometimes we have to go deeper into some of the issues, but the basics of thankfulness and appreciation can make major improvements in daily life.  This theory focuses on the “positives,” and being thankful.

My professor (Amy Cain wooh!) even related the concepts back to Scripture.  How often does the Lord ask us to give praise, and to serve, and to rest.  All component positive psychology uses in therapy.  Some of the homework positive psychologist give clients I wanted to share.  I decided to challenge myself to do this, and thought some of you out there could benefit as well!

1. Go through each day this week, and write down 5 good things that happened.  For instance, discuss accomplishments, something that was fun, a time you felt proud, a time you helped someone else, etc.

2. Tell someone this week that you are thankful for them.  Say it and write it.

3. Go for a walk (because it is so nice and beautiful out!) and be appreciative of your surroundings.  (You can read some of my old blog posts about finding joy in the ordinary, a scriptural idea used in a secular psychology theory)

The more objective psychology student in me wants to say that there is not enough research and this approach does not necessarily go down into the root of the problem.  There are definitely those cases where you may need to go deeper than just “feeling good” and being positive.  But I think these ideas are scriptural, to show praise and to be thankful.  So maybe try it out

Thanks for stopping by,


Aaron Merrell


April 14, 2015

NSLC Last Week!

April 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey y’all!

The 2015/2016 ASG Exec Council got back from NSLC on Sunday evening around 7pm, and we had such a blast!

For those of you who didn’t read the last blog, NSLC is an event put on the by the higher education institutions of the USA/Canada region of the Church of the Nazarene. This year was the 50th anniversary of NSLC, so it was held at NSLC’s birthplace, MNU’s sister schools, Olivet Nazarene University.  At the event, we meet with other student governments from the eight other Nazarene liberal arts Universities and Colleges in the USA/Canada region.  We got to meet students and advisors from each of the other schools, and got to share ideas with people at other schools who have the same positions as us at their respective schools.

On the way down to Olivet, we stopped at Charlie Parker’s diner in Springfield , IL for lunch.  There is a food I discovered that is only found in Illinois called the horseshoe. At Charlie Parker’s, I decided to try a buffalo chicken horseshoe, and here’s what it consisted of: two pieces of Texas toast, then a layer of buffalo chicken strips, then the strips are topped of with fries, and cheese sauce is smothered all over it. It was so delicious, but so unhealthy. I couldn’t even eat half of it.

At the event, we did a lot of fun and helpful team-building and connecting activities. There were the following events: musical chairs, dance parties, speakers, group time, a scavenger hunt, dodgeball, blow darts (let’s go Ambrose and MNU), human hungry hungry hippos, a taste of Chicago, an improv team, and LOTS of food.

We all learned a lot about ourselves, and each other last week at Olivet, and I can;t wait to see what’s in store for ASG this next year.  When you get to campus, you definitely have to look into student government, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made here.

Thanks, guys! See you next time!


Haley Raydo


April 7, 2015

It’s Springtime: Life Update

April 7, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

I have barely made it through my first day back from Easter break.  The fact that I barely made it through today is kind of sad because I haven’t had a full week of school since spring break.  Anyways, let me just say my brain is fried and I am ready for summer-which is actually in just a few short weeks (MNU perks).

Just a few quick life updates:

1. I got a summer internship! This has been by far the most exciting thing in my life the last months or so. I will be working with an organization called MOCSA (Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault) as a victim’s advocate. This is something I am incredibly passionate about and I am so blessed to be provided an opportunity to help and to learn. SO keep me in your prayers (as well as the organization and victims) this will be a difficult but inspiring experience I am sure.

2. I got to spend Easter break with my family.  These are my siblings: Kayla and Nate.  The first picture is our annual Easter picture.  Three years running Nate has gotten a hand to the face. The second is Nate exiting our selfie.  But seriously I love these people and I love to spend time with them.

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3.  The weather is beautiful which means campus looks beautiful! The picture above the title is a view looking up at one of the dogwood trees on campus.  This is the weather I have been waiting for!

4.  I am doing well in all of my classes.  Sometimes I forget I am in college mainly to get a degree (I am only being partially sarcastic).  It is just easy to get distracted when you live with your best friends, there are so many fun events, and new opportunities are given.  This semester has been incredibly difficult.  MNU is very blessed to have the professor they have and I say that because they are complete geniuses and I am well– probably not a genius.  So by the grace of God I am doing extremely well– and most importantly I am learning (I felt like my mom as I wrote that).  But truly I am so blessed to be learning.

Anyways.. That’s about it.  A few exciting things, hopefully more to come!

Thanks for stopping by


Haley Raydo


March 30, 2015

Afternoon Thoughts

March 30, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

Hello friends

Although I am just now sitting down to write this (9:43 pm) I had some incredible thoughts that took place this afternoon… Well at least some were incredible.

There is something about a nice sunny afternoon that just gets me thinking.  The boys I nanny sleeping, the wind is light, and I just sit and take a deep breath.  After some extended deep-thinking/worrying-about-the-future morning, the sun and a place to just sit in the calm is perfect.  Every once in awhile an image of my Cognitive Neuropsychology textbook will pop into my head, reminding me of my very important exam.  I could very well be in denial, but there is something refreshing letting my mind relax.

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As I reflect I recall the verses in Psalms 37 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the LORD, trust in him and we do this: He will make your righteous reward like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”  What does it mean to take delight in Him?  To enjoy His presence, to believe and trust Him, to love Him, and to choose Him.  I think it is great to serve a God who longs to give me the desires of my heart.  That doesn’t mean he gives me whatever I want.  It means if I desire Him than I desire things that are godly and pleasing. And he longs to give those to me.  My passions and dreams are included.  What a promise to make us righteous, bright and shining like this afternoon sun.  After a morning of worry, a reassurance to trust and commit in the afternoon.  

I reflect, find the image of my Cognitive Neuropsychology book reappear and quickly exit my thoughts, and then shortly reminded of reality as cries from a cute baby boy exclaim his nap time must be over.  I rush to greet the cries so to not wake up the toddler asleep upstairs.  I look at this baby boy and smile to know that this boy is a part of God’s creation and is loved deeply by the Creator.  How cool to know that God has a plan and a purpose, even for a boy that just is beginning his life.


Then the reflecting time is over as toddler marches down the stairs.  Greeted by a “Hi Hay-ey” (he can not say his L’s) and a cute little smile before the demanding of Mickey Mouse.  Then my day is in full on rush of homework and worrying once again.

The point?  Take time to reflect.  Take time to breathe.  Take time to delight.  Take time to find the joy of Christ.

Thanks for stopping by


Haley Raydo


March 23, 2015

The Hunting Ground

March 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

So today I wanted to write something that is very close to my heart.  I recently started to work with an organization that does advocacy for victims of sexual assault and rape.  One of their main purposes is to also educate the community about assault and rape.  Some are quick to conclude that education is not needed, “everyone knows what rape is.”  However, there are some major misconceptions within our society.  A majority of our population when hearing the word “rape” automatically pictures a stranger in a dark alley.  This is what we call “real rape”  because our society assumes that this is what rape looks like.  However, research has shown that this only accounts for around 10% of all cases.  So that means a majority of rapes and assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.

Because in most cases the perpetrator is known, a lot of victim blaming and shaming (however mostly unintentional) takes place.  A lot of victims, we like to call them “survivors,” have explained the things they were told and had heard.  “Well if she wasn’t wearing that”  or “if she wouldn’t drink.”  Most of these comments aren’t meant with harm, however when survivors hear this it only brings shame.  They hear, “If I didn’t wear this outfit I wouldn’t have gotten raped.”  (Also women are not the only ones this is happening to, men too).

Our culture tells us that rape is only the “real rape” kind, and anything else isn’t.  This makes reporting to police very difficult for victims.  They struggle with wondering if anyone would believe them or if it even was actually rape.  And can we blame them? I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have heard someone say “well she’s after something, that’s why she’s saying she has been raped.”  That isn’t our job as a society to judge.  Our job is to seek justice and healing for victims.

This documentary, The Hunting Ground,  takes a look at the cover-ups of rape and assault on college campuses.  Not all college campuses are this way, I am very blessed to attend a school that does not stand for these actions.  Unfortunately there are campuses in this country who are more worried about keeping a reputation.

As members of society we need to educate ourselves and others.  As potential jury members, government officials, teachers, parents, and/or college deans, we need to know how we can prevent, how we can bring justice, and how we can bring healing.

The amount of hate and discouragement I have seen reading the comments on this documentary’s trailer only further proves to me the importance of education and sensitivity our society needs.  If you haven’t thought about rape and assault in this way before, I would suggest learning more about it.  Not to bring discouragement, but to better improve our society.

As a Christian, I feel that I have a responsibility to be informed citizen and loving.  To be someone that represents Christ.  Learning more about this issue gives me more reason to pray and to pursue righteousness.

So if you’d like, the organization I work with pushed hard in getting a special screening of The Hunting Ground, come watch the screening at AMC in Olathe on 119th St.  on Friday April 10th or also on the same day at Glenwood Arts in Overland Park.

You can buy tickets early:

Also visit the website:

Thanks for stopping by


Haley Raydo


March 15, 2015

“The God Who Sees Me”

March 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

I spoke in class chapel last week and a lot of people had asked that I share what I talked about.  So if you didn’t get to hear it, here you go!  This has something that has been on my heart the last several weeks and I am glad it spoke to so many:

I don’t like to ask for help. I will try to find places on my own first before looking it up on my GPS. I never asked my parents or teachers for help in school. I think there is a part of me that really likes being independent and self-sufficient.

I think as humans our relationship with how we view and interact with God is a conflicting battle between two things. Reverence and intimacy. It’s either we grew up seeing God as close by and a comforter but sometimes forget to see Him as the creator of the universe. We forget about the wonderment and amazement. If we aren’t careful we may even make Him and our relationship like one we can relate to (so something of this earth). Than there are some of us who were taught (whether as a child or recently) that God was far away. He was this God who is out doing big things and doesn’t have time for our little things.

I think the best relationships with God have and find a balance between the two. Because its true that God is a big and amazing God, but he also cares about the small things. For me I struggled with God caring about the small things. I felt like I had this intimate relationship with God, but I felt that He was too big to care about the small things in my life. When I have a little fever, or I am beyond exhausted, if I needed to receive a particular grade, or I was really hungry and didn’t have much to eat for dinner. Those are seemingly day-to-day basic and simple things. Than there were a little bigger things like when I was upset and hurt by something had told me, or other broken relationships, a loss of a loved one, or the stage and feeling of helplessness. I always thought God was too big to care or see me and what I was going through.

When I was heart broken I would think, “ok there are 27 million people enslaved around the world, millions of kids are starving to death, I live in such great wealth and blessing. I shouldn’t feel this way, or more that I feel this way but God doesn’t care as much because He has bigger things to do.” Although I don’t necessarily believe that that kind of thinking doesn’t have a place- I definitely thinks it gives perspective and humility- but I think we underestimate God and his character and abilities. We place a limit on who He is and His power.  When we think we will be fine and can handle it, that it is not as big of a deal as some other people’s issues, we rely on ourselves and underestimate God.

One of my favorite stories is the story of Hagar. So we are going to read it Genesis chapter 16

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant
    and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,[a]
    for the Lord has heard of your misery.

12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
    his hand will be against everyone
    and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
    toward[b] all his brothers.”

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her:“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.”

Part of me reading this story makes me angry. How could Hagar be mistreated like that? But I think we get to see a glimpse of a sweet side of God. I don’t have all the answers of why there is evil and why bad things happen. But God saw Hagar. He went out and found her, increased her blessings. Hagar responds with something so profound and says, “You are the God who sees me.” He sees us. Hagar was a slave, a minor character in the story of Abram later known as Abraham. Abraham! I mean the father of the Israelites. The guy who has the most insane faith- He almost killed his only son because He so trusted God. This Abraham we teach in Bible stories. Hagar isn’t like an Abraham. But God sees her. He saw her tears and her pain.

The God of the Universe sees your pain, he sees your dreams, he sees your daily simple needs and HE CARES.  He knows us and our dreams.  And he CARES.  How much more could God do in our lives than us trying to do it ourselves?  We do ourselves disservice when we think we can figure it out on our home.  Why figure it out ourselves when the God who knows all things wants to be a part of it? What a God what a love.

If you aren’t convinced about a big God that cares and includes us in His story I wrote down some times in the Bible this was true:

  1. Jesus fed the thousands. (He definitely didn’t have to)
  2. God saved Israel over and over and over again. He saw them whining in the wilderness and provided for them every time.
  3. In Matthew 6 He talks about how he feeds the birds, “How much more does he care for us?”
  4. Genealogies- lists out all the people- doesn’t leave anyone out.
  5. Israel asks for a king, God gives them a king.
  6. Jesus reaches out to tax collectors
  7. God sends angels to tell shepherds to tell of Jesus’ birth (could have told a nobler group)

There are so many more examples. Moses and Joseph. I just think it is so cool we have such a big God that 1. Cares about the little things in our lives 2. So desires to include us in His story.  However we have to keep praying and asking for God.  We have to take the first steps and be proactive.

So I hope I talked to at least a couple of you today. I know it is a message for myself as well. A couple things I want you to take away is

  1. Start seeing God in a different way. Whether that be with more reverence or if you need to start seeing God as a God who cares. He is both, don’t forsake one for the other.
  2. A mentor of mine once told me “God moves when we pray because He wants us to know that it is Him at work, so His glory can be shown.” If you are hurt and broken, or tired and frustrated, or anxious and scared, or maybe everything is good… give it to Him in prayer.
  3. Maybe you don’t have a relationship with Him, you never wanted one or maybe you didn’t know much about God and never thought anything of it. I might ask if you feel so bold and up for a challenge to read the Word, talk with someone and see if it will change your life. I’ve lived life with God and I’ve lived life without Him (the good, the bad) and I will tell you there is nothing like Him. He is worth it all. A God that is so big yet cares so much, is worth living radically. Life with Him has been anything but boring. So see what learning about Him will do.

Thanks for stopping by