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Heather Engle

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January 1, 2014

an airplane to Austin, and an Artshow

January 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey Friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve last posted, but don’t worry, I haven’t just been sitting around doing nothing for  a couple of weeks. I want to show you guys what I did for Christmas this year! And it wasn’t exactly a white Christmas…

So this year was the first time I went somewhere out of my home state for Christmas. I went to Austin, Texas! This is where my mom is currently located, so my brother and I took a plane to Austin and celebrated Christmas with her, just the three of us.

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Here’s a picture of the beautiful sunrise I saw on the plane on the way to Texas. :] I thoroughly enjoy riding in airplanes because it reminds me of how big my God is, and how small I really am. It also lets me basically ride on a cloud…which is pretty awesome. :]

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This was the outside of a Pizza place we went to! Downtown Austin has so much character and there are so many things to do down there!

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This is the view of my moms apartment right when you walk in. I love it so much because the windows are huge, and it has a beautiful view of the apartments courtyard!

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The first day we got there we went to this art Bizarre that had booths of artists work that you could walk around, look at and purchase if you wanted! :] I also found this there…

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This lamp is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. :] sorry for another thing about clouds, I just had to share this one. :]

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 While we were in Austin, we also got a chance to climb a mountain! It was absolutely beautiful up there and the temperature was just perfect!

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To end an awesome week in Austin, my brother, mom and I went to see this great Christmas lightshow! There were tons of people there and I guess the people that put it on do this show annually! It was so popular it made it on the news! I have a video of it above, so check it out!

Well friends, that’s all from me for now. I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas like I did!

Until next time,

-Heather Rose :]

Haley Raydo

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December 28, 2013

The Reason For the Season Reflection

December 28, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!  Just throwin a quick blog post at you over some reflections I have had this Christmas break!

I have lately been thinking a lot about grace.  I know it’s weird to think about forgiveness and grace around Christmas, usually that’s an Easter topic.  But I have realized this over the last week, Jesus was born and he lived and died to extend grace and love to all of us.  WOW!  His grace is something to reflect on not just around his death and resurrection but in His birth and all the times in between these celebrations.

I often forget about the grace the Lord has extended in my life.  But what a great season to remember why He was born in the first place.  I have fallen time after time again, and it’s so easy for me to get frustrated.  But the fact that the Lord is always there offering grace with His hand extended to lift me back up is incredible!

I feel like as Christians today, we so often have the “do it yourself” mentality.  But in fact the Lord didn’t call us to do it ourselves because that would defeat the purpose of why He died.  The Lord has called us to live out in His unfailing grace and love, and to strive to be like Him.  We will fail, but when we look up to catch the hand extended from the Lord, we will find grace and love to continue in our walk.

Reflect on his grace this Christmas break, and don’t forget to walk in it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Follow me @haleyraydoo @mnublogs

Allegra Vieux

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December 23, 2013

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

December 23, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

Hey blog world.

By now, you’ve probably figured out that it’s officially Christmas Break, almost 2 weeks in counting! I’ve successfully completed 2 TV series from Investigation Discovery on Netflix, along with a season of Desperate Housewives and 6 movies.

Aka, I’m bored out of my MIND.

At home I have my parents, my two little brothers, and my 2 dogs: Patch and Bailey. My dad has been out of town for work and his flight was delayed. My mom works all day. My brother, Alex, works 2 jobs when he’s not in classes. My baby brother, Asher, is a senior in high school, therefore his break just officially started…

and then there’s me & the dogs. I think I knew I was going crazy when I caught myself talking to them for extended periods of time. No need to be alarmed: They are intuitive, intelligent, and involved so the conversations were not lost on them. I only wish they could do more than bark and howl back at me. (pictured below: Bailey on the left and Patch on the right.)

Picture 10How I’ve kept myself occupied: Netflix, Pinterest, baking, and cleaning. Usually, I shop. But given that it’s Christmas I’ve decided to cut back on spending. Also an ice storm hit Oklahoma so that may have influenced my penny pinching decision.

I’m probably like a good 107% extrovert so it’s only killing me a little to be on break. The good news is my sister and nephew come home tomorrow (Tuesday,) my dad’s flight gets in around 9am, my mom took the week off, and Asher starts being around so I’m sure I’ll be sick of them in no time.

In the spirit of Christmas, I have a couple of gifts for my faithful 3 readers out there.

1. Free Music!

tymayfieldchristmassamplerI hope you’re enjoying the music playing above! It is a new Christmas song covered by my friend, Ty Mayfield. This year, he is giving away his Christmas Sampler on Noisetrade! It’s an upbeat, fun, bluesy/jazzy mix with some of his original songs (including a Christmas orig,) and the cover you’re listening to! You will LOVE it- Money back guarantee. Download it for FREE HERE !!!

2. My favorite Pinterest Recipe!

I’ve found the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie recipe on Pinterest…and I’m not normally one for actually doing what I pin! It’s amazing, therefore I will share it with you.

perfectchoccookie(Original post here: http://theperfectchocolatechipcookie.com/instruct.php)

Ingredients:

2 3/4 c  all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 c unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 c Crisco

1 c light brown sugar
1 c minus 2 T white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

The key with these cookies is to follow directions closely! I’m not one for this either- every time a recipe tells me to do something oddly specific, I say to myself, “why??” and do it the easy way. I’ve tried to add comments for the picture-directions to help you identify the “why” behind the matter.

Picture 4Mixing the flour allows the final dough to have an even distribution of ingredients without over-mixing it.

Beating the butter and shortening gives the dough a better rise in the oven, making the cookies lighter. Butter is good for taste and shortening is good to make the cookie softer.

Picture 5Adding the chocolate chips before adding the flour evenly distributes them without over-mixing the final dough.  Do not over-mix or it will discolor the dough.

The flour to be just incorporated, is the point when you no longer see white spots of flour.  Do not overmix! Over-mixing will ruin the cookies.  They will bake flatter and look greasy.

Picture 6

When shaping the cookies, you will know if you have the fat/flour ratio right: too little flour- it will stick to your hands, forms a messy looking ball, just right- won’t stick to your hands, but just barely, forms a smooth ball, too much flour- dough has to be forced into a ball, crumbly dough, rough looking ball

The same problems occur when over-handling the dough as over-mixing it.  They will bake flat and look greasy.  Handle the dough as little as possible while still shaping them properly.

To freeze, place the dough balls on a plate side by side, cover and freeze at least an hour.  You can then bag them and they won’t be stuck together when you take them out.

Picture 7 Picture 8

 It takes most ovens much longer to preheat than when it beeps to tell you it’s ready.  An oven thermometer is very helpful.  When most ovens beep, they are usually 50-100 degrees too low.  It will ruin the cookies to bake them at the incorrect temperature.  Let the oven heat longer than it allows for “preheating.”

Determining when they are done:

underdone- the are tall, shiny in the middle, pale in color, fall apart when transfered, fall through on the cooling rack

perfect- domed, puffy, show a few signs of browning, look a bit underdone but are not shiny on the top, hold together during transfer It is important to wait 2 minutes before transferring them.  They continue to bake from the heat of the sheet without being over-baked in the oven.  Also, they will hold together better and be less likely to fall in the middle if you wait.

…And if they don’t look like the cookies above, here are the possibilities to what went wrong:

Picture 9

 

I hope you enjoy!

Have a holly jolly Christmas, and let me know how you feel about the music and the cookies!

Over and Out!

Mario Flores

By

December 21, 2013

Being Home!! (after not having been in 11 months!)

December 21, 2013 | By | One Comment

We begin with me and my bags, almost ready to depart from MNU

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)

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.

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!

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!

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 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!!

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

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

See...

See…

Being there three hours before departure, it was pretty vacant, so I took a nap.

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!!

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.

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!!

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!

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!!

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/

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.

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.

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!

Britney Lewis

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December 17, 2013

This Has Nothing To Do With The Holidays…

December 17, 2013 | By | No Comments

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 It has taken me awhile to find the perfect topic to blog about since the holidays have taken over, and after a week of thinking about it, I’ve decided to bring in the christian aspects of MNU–because really, that’s what MNU is all about.

My favorite part about MidAmerica is how the community challenges you, and makes you think–especially when it comes to where you stand with Christ.

Sometimes you don’t know where you stand–literally–and you find yourself falling. If anything, I know what it’s like to forget where you belong among many others who believe in the same God that you believe in.

But trust me, DON’T BE FRIGHTENED, dear.

Ha, I know it can be scary, but that is why there are so many people on campus who are literally here to help you.

And if you do feel like you’re going to lose your place, don’t be afraid to find someone to mentor you. There are plenty of people whose lives you’d want to immaculate crawling across the campus grounds. There are small groups, chaplains, resident educators, saints (not kidding), a college youth group, also known as Kairos, residential assistants, and possibly even you roommate!

So, I hope you enjoyed the video, and I pray that you decide to not only get involved with the campus community, but that you get involved with spiritual life as well.

As always,

Peace and Love

Joey Alligier

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December 17, 2013

Tis’ the Season

December 17, 2013 | By | No Comments

Christmas break:
No school
Family time
Friends galore
Getting swole’
Coffee shop visits on coffee shop visits

I guess this time of year isn’t that bad.
Despite the wretched cold…. 

From a Christian perspective, it is the time of waiting, preparation, and anticipation. It’s the season of Advent. Now, I am nowhere near an expert on this idea and what it fully looks like, yet, I know how the initial idea affects me. In my mind there is a consistent fight of the concept of Christmas by the mass media. I see all these wants and a ton of receiving. What I desire to see are needs and unfathomable amounts of giving. Correlating advent, we are all given hope that redemption, in its fullest form, is on its way: Christ.

We are filled with this hope and to be filled is an opportunity to pour out. 

I have read/ am reading a few books lately that are challenging me beyond myself. Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton, Wrecked by Jeff Goins, and Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown. The concepts found range from enabling versus empowering, how to invest in life in a fulfilling way, and what it means to be satisfied in a world of “not enough”. What I am seeing consistently throughout all readings is that life is not about me. My life is purposed beyond myself and my capabilities. As it is the holiday season, it hits home that my mind shouldn’t be focused selfishly. It can be hard with so many cool things that attract my attention. There are people in need all around us, in every concept, from physiologically to spiritually. Yet, in Wrecked I am seeing that true compassion doesn’t always make us feel good; (DUH) it’s not for us. Often we make people objects and just do things for them which ultimately hurts them, but it makes us feel good. Don’t focus on how you feel afterward, it’s not about us. We see people who need more than we can give and they open our eyes to revelations that we cannot unsee and may, and hopefully will, change the course of our lives and thought processes.
(That is a condensed-probably-confusing version of what my mind has been trying to grasp lately)

“You don’t have behave complexly to show love, extravagant love can be seen in the simplest of forms.”

Here are a few ways to make a lasting impact on someone during this season:

1) Food, food, food. 
People don’t always have family, money, or whatever else to have an extravagant holiday dinner. Bring people together for fun and fellowship. Even if they do have the means necessary, come together in a way beyond your own little bubble.

2) Get out of your comfort zone.
This can look like a variety of things. In the end it’s about having perspective amidst the surrounding world. Have a conversation with the guy ringing the bell for the salvation army or talk to the person sitting next to you alone in a coffee shop. It doesn’t have to be big, keep it simple and love immensely.

3) MORE FOOD. 
Partake in a pay-it-forward type venture. Whether this is at a restaurant or, you guessed it, a coffee shop, give without expectation. This can also look like buying food (or whatever need) for the person holding the cardboard sign, make a personal investment instead of throwing money at them. This can create conversation that allows them to leave with more than a few less dollars and a sense of good-doing.

4) Give more than you get. 
It’s easy to get caught up in the fascination with new things during this time of year, but those things will become “old” soon enough. Invest your time in money in worthy causes and organizations. This can look like asking for less with another idea in mind of where the money can go or maybe it is going to a shelter and making community with people on Christmas.

In short, go beyond yourself this season. I’m not saying give everything up and focus solely on others; it’s okay to get gifts and new stuff and have fun. I am saying however, be willing to give in time and investment whatever that looks like. After all, we are to be hopeful as we await the coming of Christ. Take that hope and spread it; with your family, friends, people at the gym, and people at your frequently visited coffee shop.

*Perspective should be had all year long. In the simplest acts, like helping carry groceries, love extravagantly. Don’t assume someone else will make the potential difference you’ve been presented with; you are that SOMEONE.
Be available

Any questions, feel free to ask!
https://www.facebook.com/PrayaWarrior

Keep on and keep God friends,

Joey

Heather Engle

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December 16, 2013

steak and shake and a Hot tub

December 16, 2013 | By | One Comment

Hello Blog World!

Sooo I just wanted to let you guys know that…

I survived my first finals week! Thank the Lord! :]

Now I am sitting in my living room at home, just enjoying the nice long break that I get to have before going back for another semester at MNU. Although having a long break is nice, I have to admit, I already miss being at MNU and my family there… :/ but its okay! We will be reunited soon enough!

Before we all left after finals to go our separate ways to our family and friends back home, my MNU friends and I decided to go do something fun one last time before our departure! Here are some pictures:

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This is all of us! We decided to go to steak and shake at around 9:30 at night. These girls are some of my best friends and can make me laugh like none other.

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Also, There was sort of a surprise waiting for me when I arrived home:

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These are my sisters in our new hot tub! It was an early Christmas present to the whole family! How awesome is that? :]

Well friends, I hope you have an amazing Christmas and realize what this season is all about; The hope that was brought into the world by the birth of Jesus Christ. We can get so distracted by everything else this world tries to make Christmas about and forget the true meaning of it. So rest in His hope today and enjoy time with your family and friends!

 until next time,

-Heather Rose :]

Haley Raydo

By

December 14, 2013

Advice Session 2 | Modest is Hottest?

December 14, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

Happy Christmas break to you all!  Today is part two of my advice giving series.  This week there was only one topic that made sense to talk about… and that was modesty.  I know that may seem weird… but I have been thinking a lot about it.  WIth the whole Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this week and the endless instagram pictures of Christian girls I know dressed provocatively, I just feel like it needs to be addressed.  Many people may not see this, but maybe I can give some advice that may help at least one person.

Now I have advice for girls and for guys on this topic so I will break it down into two sections.

GIRLS

Let me just say, we have it hard sometimes.  It’s like the girl world is always a competition, who has the best outfit, who has the most friends, who has the best boyfriend, etc.  Even as a Christian woman it is hard to escape these competitions and pressures.  It is almost like our society tells us we must look this way or act this way to get the attention of a boy, and in a lot of cases it has gotten a lot of success.  So we wear that skin-tight dress because that is what seems to work for other girls right?

Well unfortunately that is probably the case.  I mean why wouldn’t a barely dressed woman grab someone’s attention?  Now I am not blaming men by any means… they were created that way! That is why I believe modesty is so so important!  I mean no girl wants to be the one that causes a man to stumble.  But we so often forget about that.

We attract by the way we dress and present ourselves.  As women we longed to be loved, but do you really expect to receive love from a guy that is only looking how you are dressed?  Sure if you dress modest you may not get the same looks, but you will be making sure you are attracting the right kind of guy.  If you dress immodest you may get some looks and attention, but you are not going to be the girl a guy is going to bring home.  Besides that, show some respect for yourself in the way you dress, you will receive the same respect.

I mean c’mon girls!  It breaks my heart seeing these pictures and reading these tweets about woman not comparing to this woman or that woman.  Why do you believe that?  Because according to Scripture we are worth more than rubies!  So we should act like it and have respect for ourselves.

worth more rubies

And… let a true godly man get to know you for you!  It may take some time waiting, but not all is lost with our society!  Beyond attracting the right man, having respect for yourself, and by protecting men from stumbling into sin, it is what God call us to be.  God calls us to be daughters of the King and to honor Him with everything we have including our bodies. My biggest piece of advice I can give you is to instead of comparing ourselves to the Victoria’s Secret Angels, to compare yourself to the Proverbs 31 woman.

BOYS

The best thing you can do is to help encourage your sisters in Christ.  It is not easy to be a girl in this time, as it is not easy to be a guy.  So let’s help each other out!  By giving your attention to those that choose to honor the Lord, only helps encourage them to continue in their walk to pursue their journey of being a woman of God.

It may be hard again to wait for those kind of women but they are out there!  And when you find one, treat her with high respect and honor!

I hope this helps, and for some of you gives encouragement!

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Follow me @haleyraydoo @mnublog

Mario Flores

By

December 14, 2013

Sweet Ending :)

December 14, 2013 | By | No Comments

So Sunday night, after hanging out with Jamie, I run in to this guy: Philip Prado!! Former MNU Blogger :-D

 

Sorry it was blurry, but I was on one leg to show off our matching clothes! Plaid PJs and Plaid shirt!

Sorry it was blurry, but I was on one leg to show off our matching clothes! Plaid PJs and Plaid shirt!

 

 

"Te amo Je Tem" Spanish and French for I love you. You could say I'm one incredibly blessed man!

“Te amo
Je Tem”
Spanish and French for I love you. You could say I’m one incredibly blessed man!

Thanks again Jamie!

Thanks again Jamie!

Later in the week, before my last final, in the office of the School of Christian Ministry and Formation, Randy still doesn’t fear being silly in public. He’s next to one of MNU’s most beloved Professor: Kelvin St. John. He teaches both New Testament Literature and Discovering the Bible (Both Gen. Ed. classes for all MNU Students.)

Randy's wig is ridiculous.  St. John's hair is glorious.

Randy’s wig is ridiculous.
St. John’s hair is glorious.

Then Last night, St. John treated Jamie and I out to some Chinese food! Once again, I love how so many professors here are so personable!

The one and only St. John is incredible. That is a fact.

The one and only St. John is incredible. That is a fact.

 

Now here’s a pic of a good friend of mine, across the hall: Matt.

Obviously this pic had to be taken since we were matching!

Obviously this pic had to be taken since we were matching!

 

Alright so tonight, my youth group that I serve as an intern for: Well Rooted (From Living Hope Church of the Nazarene) had a Christmas party!! Ugly sweaters were “totes obvi” encouraged:P

And don't worry that mirror was broken and "repaired" before I got to this RA room:P

And don’t worry that mirror was broken and “repaired” before I got to this RA room:P

Here’s a shot of the group not knowing I was taking this pic haha

and that little baby that belongs to one of our sponsors is most definitely one of the cutest babies on the planet.

and that little baby that belongs to two of our sponsors is most definitely one of the cutest babies on the planet.

 

That trail on the right side is a river with Oreo steppings stones (Not a sidewalk...)

That trail on the right side is a river with Oreo steppings stones (Not a sidewalk…)

And of course there was a white elephant gift exchange. Here’s a short clip of my gift acquiring. Keep scrolling to see better pictures of the great decorative gift I scored!

Here are two pics of the skull now safely and not stolen in my room.
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Here it is beside the reason I "stole" it in the first place. On the left was 2nd East Side's LanBarger Lympics Totem!

Here it is beside the reason I “stole” it in the first place. On the left was 2nd East Side’s LanBarger Lympics Totem!

Hopefully if you click this link, you will be directed to the video showing our dance that we mixed the song for ourselves and made choreography for ourselves!
https://www.facebook.com/photo.phptv=616733151682603&set=vb.100000377718208&type=2&theater

Alrighty friends if you’re wrapping up your semester as well, may you finish strong! If you are not wrapping up a semester, may you enjoy this special time of year with your loved ones, and everyone else (Unless of course everyone is a loved one for you, which I actually hope IS the case!! [Course that’s not easy though])

Y’all are loved!

Peace in the Middle East,

Mario Paul Flores

Allegra Vieux

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December 11, 2013

What Strategic Management taught me about Yoga Pants

December 11, 2013 | By | 10 Comments

yoga-allianceBlog world: It’s finals week. I’m not going to bore you with another post about it, but I did just kill my Strategic Management final. Whoop!

Strategic Management is the business capstone, and I learned so much in it that I couldn’t even begin to tell you about how awesome of a class it was. However, after taking my final, I feel pretty confident about the information I learned.

Has anyone been on Facebook lately? Can anyone tell me why I’ve read more about yoga pants than the fight for world peace in the last 3 months? I’ve seen so many religious/Biblical arguments on the subject, most of which are against wearing the polyester/spandex blend articles of clothing.

First of all, I don’t know why everyone has to agree one way or another about everything all the time. But since I’m forced to pick a side, I’m going to refrain from using Biblical references to manipulate my audience. The word of God doesn’t have much to say on Yoga pants specifically, so I’m not going to mold it to defend what I think it should defend. Instead, I’m going to walk you through everything I’ve learned in my Strategic Management class and bring hopefully a refreshing perspective.

Without further adieu, I present

What Strategic Management taught me about Yoga Pants

So in my class, we had to read 1. a text book, 2. Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey, and 3. Good to Great by Jim Collins. The source of my information comes from those three books and the infinite wisdom of Dr. Jamie Myrtle.

In Covey’s book, the first habit of 7 is Be Proactive. The big idea is that our basic nature is to act, not to be acted upon. Holding people responsible for their actions is not demeaning, it is affirming. Don’t be scared off because of the language I’m about to use, because I’ll break it all down. Covey talks about the theories of determinism, aka, why we become who we become. Genetic determinism says “I am who I am because of my heritage or genetic makeup,” Psychic determinism says “I am who I am because of my upbringing and childhood circumstances,” and Environmental determinism says “I am who I am because of the environment around me.”

So there are a lot of things that can determine who we are if we allow them to. When we live using a reactive paradigm, this is essentially what it looks like.

stimulus-response

“Something else caused my reaction.” This is a victim mentality.

Covey talks about the space between the Stimulus and the Response. We have the freedom to choose. This is called being proactive. The model looks like this:freedom-to-chooseAll that to say, no one can force you to do anything. You have the opportunity to choose. Just because your mother makes chocolate chip cookies doesn’t mean you have to eat them. Just because someone cuts you off in traffic doesn’t mean your day is ruined. Just because a girl wears yoga pants doesn’t mean you have to lust after her. Similarly, just because a girl is wearing yoga pants doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. The freedom to choose, friends. Look away. Are yoga pants form fitting? Yes. Are skinny jeans? Yes. The thing here is that they cover more than most shorts, skirts, or dresses. I’m not seeking to condemn, I’m just telling you how it is. People are going to wear these pants whether you rant about it on Facebook or not. Nobody’s forcing you to wear them, therefore: let’s not waste time and energy trying to force people out of them either.

In the book Good to Great, Collins talks about good vs. great leaders. There are 5 levels of leadership, as pictured below.

level-5 leadersThroughout the text, Collins compares level 4 and level 5 leaders. When things are going wrong inside an organization, a Level 4 Leader will “look out the window” to find it, or push blame on others. He/She will also “look in the mirror” when things are going well. This is where Level 4 and 5 leaders contrast.

Level 5 leaders look out the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck). At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly.

When things in your life aren’t going well, do you look to yourself first, or to the outside world? If you are struggling with lust, do you first cast blame on all the yoga-pant wearing girls around you that you have no control over, or do you examine your own heart? If you are insecure about your body, do you blame the media or other girls who rock yoga pants, or do you look to the real issue: your own heart?

Don’t be thrown off by what I’m about to say.

The Macro-environment effects you. The external, uncontrollable factors in the environment will influence your decisions. We can evaluate which are the relevant factors in the macro-environment through a PESTEL analysis.

Political factors (taxes)

Economic conditions (local to worldwide, age distribution)

Sociocultural forces (ethnic values, family structure, cultural attitudes)

Technological factors (updates in cellphones, computers, electronics)

Environmental factors (the natural environment)

Legal/regulatory conditions (new legislature)

Hang with me.. it’s about to get easier. Okay so when we think about all of these factors, it totally makes sense that yoga pants are booming in the US of A, specifically in Economic and Sociocultural forces. People are busier than ever. Women are working and child-rearing. With the rise of divorce, there are many single, working moms. One of the things I like about fashion is that it follows societal trends, not the other way around. Due to all of this, women feel more free to wear their workout clothing in the midst of picking up groceries from the store while the kids are at soccer practice after working 8-5 with a 30 minute workout at the gym over lunch. Fashion followed this- it is now trendy to wear yoga pants in public. The factors in the macro-environment have led to the popularity of comfortable, chic, informal clothing. If you just don’t like the trend, that’s a completely other argument. If you think there is a moral issue with the trend, then you are saying there is a moral issue with the entire society, and your yoga-pants argument is illogical. Fight what the real issue is here, such as women raising children on their own- volunteer to help some single moms in your community.

Okay it’s time to land this plane. As I know that everyone will continue to argue this subject, I would like to assist you in doing so. In Covey’s novel, he discusses a Win-Win character. Here are the 6 fundamental attitudes about conflict you can have in life.

  1. Win-Win: Both interests are met
  2. Win-Lose: I win, you lose
  3. Lose-Win: Victim mentality, people pleasing
  4. Lose-Lose: War. 2 people who won’t back down from their interests
  5. Win: I don’t care what you lose, I just win
  6. Win-Win or no deal: Both interests are met regardless of how long it takes to work it out

The point is this. People are more likely to hear your point of view if you listen to theirs first. There is difference between listening and waiting to respond. Be sure to stop formulating your argument to listen to the interests of those around you. Maybe we can find common ground this way instead of an ageless argument.

Okay so that’s what I learned this semester. I’d like to thank Professor Myrtle for the wisdom. Peace, Love and Yoga Pants.

Over and Out!