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Renee DeVault


November 17, 2015

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! I attempt to blog about newspaper!

November 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

When I decided to come to MNU, one of the first things I did was grab one of the newspapers from Bell Center when I went to a choir concert. I’m not even sure I read the whole thing, to be honest, but right from the beginning I knew that an element of my life was going to be wrapped up in this paper.

At MNU the paper is called The Trailblazer. The print edition comes out roughly three times a semester, and the online version is usually updated every week.

Over the summer I met with the advisor, Melinda Ablard-Smith, for coffee at Starbucks. Nervous, I told her that, despite having little to no journalism experience, I was wanting to potentially write for the school paper.

Melinda was incredibly helpful in answering all of my questions, and she assured me I would be able to sign up for–and fit into my schedule–the class.

Basically, how the newspaper works is students enroll in a class, called Multimedia Workshop, which is a one credit hour class that meets at 6:30 Monday nights. This semester Melinda is teaching a journalism workshops at 5:30, before class, where we all get together, eat good food, get chocolate thrown at us for answering questions, and just generally have a good time together while learning the nuts and bolts of journalism.

Advertisement last year for students interested in signing up to work for the Trailblazer

Advertisement last year featuring the modeling talent of Josh Brisco to promote Journalism at MNU.

The actual Multimedia Workshop class splits into students doing Yearbook or Newspaper, and then the Newspaper students further split into three categories: the editors, the reporters, and the video team. This semester I am a reporter.

At the beginning of the actual Trailblazer class session, Melinda sits down with all three groups and goes over a short journalism lesson, recites a bible verse, asks for prayer requests, and then leads the team in a group prayer. Then she dismisses the video team and turns over the class to the Editor-in-Chief, our fearless leader, Robbie Wegley.

Robbie and Josh (Joshua Brisco, Managing/News Editor) usually talk through some specific things the reporters need to work on (like the fact that I keep forgetting to submit pictures with my stories), talk about some current events both in the world and at the school, and then go through story pitches.

Every week the reporters and the editors turn in story pitches–ideas for stories or topics we think the Trailblazer should cover. In class, Robbie reads through the pitches, asks those who pitched them to expand upon their ideas, and decides which stories make the cut. The stories are then assigned to reporters, who usually have the rest of that week to get the story done and sent to their section editor.

I’ve worked mostly with Josh, for news, and Morgan Peiffer, for life stories. Wyatt Stark edits sports, and Sydney Wright edits opinion pieces. Katie Linsey edits the videos, and Hailey Kendrick is the graphic designer.

The Staff

The Staff

When I first started writing stories, I was pretty freaked out. I had never conducted an interview, or wrote any sort of news story before, but the editors really helped me out. If anybody is thinking about being a reporter next semester, I would highly encourage it even if you don’t have any journalism experience. The writing is very different than writing for school papers, or almost any other assignment I’ve been given.

It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, I just get to talk to people about what they’re passionate about, and I help them communicate that passion to people who may not have otherwise been able to hear about it. That’s my favorite way of looking at articles.

For example, I got to talk to people involved in the LQVE Haiti Passion to Serve project for my first article. I got the article done, but I also got to hear their stories about Quincy, their vision for the future, and their passion for what they are doing. I count it as a great privilege.


And of course not all stories are like that, but I have yet to be assigned story that didn’t require me learning something new in order to write it. Yes, it is a lot of hard work, but I have met so many people I never expected to meet.

How many students have sat down for half of an hour and really talked to the Manager of the IT department or the head of Campus Security? They are incredible people who have a lot of passion for their jobs, and they taught me things about their respective departments that I never knew, ways they are serving the school that I would have otherwise overlooked.

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It took me out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways, but I think that is what makes it one of my favorite things I do on campus. I am forced to learn in order to continue, and I’m forced to work closely with people if I want anything to get done. In the end getting the paper out is a team effort, and I’m incredibly proud of it.

I also think that having a completely student led newspaper that is allowed to talk about tough subjects, present opposing sides to issues, and investigate the school itself speaks incredibly highly of MNU. It is hard to brag about The Trailblazer without bragging about this school.

The Forum is one of my favorite sections of the paper where opposing viewpoints about an issue are discussed.

The Forum is one of my favorite sections of the paper where opposing viewpoints about an issue are discussed.

And most of all The Trailblazer is just fun…at least for me it is 😉

The people who work for the paper know how to talk to people, know how to tell a good story, and tend to enjoy being around each other. I love hearing everybody’s opinions about topics in class, and I also enjoy listening to them talk about what is happening in their lives and around campus.

Plus you get to experience the hilarity of Josh after class ends, and that’s always fun.


Trailblazer Online Link

Isaac Walker


November 13, 2015

10 Times Liz Lemon Embodied The MNU College Experience

November 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

Liz Lemon is a pretty strange woman from the hit TV series 30 Rock.  I think that she perfectly and strangely captures the college experience here at MNU.  I am sure that everyone here has experienced at least one of these Liz Lemon moments.

  1. When you can’t figure out how to hook up the cable in your dorm room.Liz-Lemon-Cable

2. When you are looking forward to Glow With The Flow at the end of next semester because you know this year is going to wreck you.                                    30-rock-i-need-to-dance-this-out

3.  When you walk into Campus Center the first time and and realize it is a buffet…


4.  When you stay in your dorm instead of going out with your friends to do “homework”.


5.  When you are trying to look on the bright side of things when school is trying to bring you down.


6.  When you make new goals at the start of every semester to try and make better grades.yes-to-staying-in-more-30-rock

7.  When you leave Kingdom Come feeling extra #blessed.


8.  When you are in your dorm at night and see on Snapchat your friends are hanging out with out you.


9.  When it is time to graduate and get your life together.


10.  But then you realize you still don’t know what you want to do with your life…


Div Tosinglo


November 12, 2015


November 12, 2015 | By | No Comments

College is fun. College is hard. College is independent. College sometimes feels lonely. College is change. But one of the thing I didn’t realize college became for me until recently was home.

I was on my annual walk, which is a day I set once a year to go on a walk. I really hate walking hence why I only do it once a year. I rather sit through a weekend long marathon of Pretty Little Liars than to get up and go on a walk. But I digress from my point. I was on my walk through the campus mall when it hit me that this place was my home.

Remember when you were a kid and you moved into a new house? That house was a house until you were convinced it could become a home. Because in a home you could be vulnerable, silly, but most importantly you could be yourself. I think coming into college your heart already has a home and the address isn’t 2030 E college Way.

I don’t blame your heart for not calling this home right away. But just like that house you moved into waited so will college. College will wait for you to lower your guard and make some pretty awesome friends. College will wait for you to allow yourself to join a welcoming community of believers who will love on, and will always be there to hear you out.

Home is assurance that no matter how your day may end up you’ll always have a place and people to come home to. Come home to vent, pray, laugh, cry, and even Netflix binge with. College needs to become home for you. And I hope and pray it does, friend.

Lynsie Petersen


November 12, 2015

Happy Places

November 12, 2015 | By | No Comments

Last week, I spent my week with some insane people, doing what we love: performing.
PicMonkey Collage
We have this warm-up where you close your eyes and go to your happy place. It’s all about focus and relaxation. I always close my eyes and think of the stage, because I am happiest when I’m onstage.


The view from my happy place

I know not everyone feels the came way, so I asked the cast where their happy place was, and in unison, they responded, “Brigadoon!”. I knew they weren’t serious, so I waited until we were at dinner after the show and asked, and a majority of the cast responded with their real happy place.

I got answers I expected like “open fields, on the beach, standing in the sun, my room, my bed, listening to music, and my ‘nothing’ box”. Others answered with places that fit their personality, “Disneyland while watching the fireworks, At Walmart at 1 AM with friends, and in the middle of a Yu-Gi-Oh battle”. There was one answer that just melted my heart, our leading man, Quinn, said that his happy place was his girlfriend, Renee (Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic and, yes, #RelationshipGoals).

PicMonkey Collage1

I love performing and I love the feeling of my adrenaline pumping as soon as I walk on the stage. If you want to see me in action, November 19th at 9:30 in the Tipping Point, Action Pact Improv is back in action. I would LOVE to see you there!

Tell me your happy place down below! :)

Also, if you just need a good laugh, watch this final vlog I made about the show.

Stephanie Krohn


November 12, 2015

Undecided – Which Major should I chose?

November 12, 2015 | By | No Comments

The first semester of this year is about to end. Registration for next year’s classes has begun, and many probably think this: “Is this the right major?” Or “Which major should I pick after I am done with my GenEd classes?”

This is normal. It is an important decision because you certainly don’t want to spend more than four years in college, collecting a huge amount of student loans to pay off afterwards. Although it will determine what you are going to do after college and which direction your life will take, I always look at it from another perspective. Whatever you chose, in the end it is up to you what you make off of it. Also, there are so many great opportunities out there, it would be really hard to “mess up your whole life”. Don’t think of it as “there is only one major that fits me and I need to figure out as quickly as possible which one it is”. No, there are probably several. Maybe you can combine two or minor in another one. You can take classes in other fields in order to get all the credit hours. The most important thought is that what you chose is right and you can make it fun and interesting by putting all your effort in it.

When I was chosing my major, I had two preferences. I can’t really remember how I came up with my choices of Communication and Sports Management, but those were two fields I was interested in and they didn’t seem too difficult. So when deciding for MNU, I also decided that Communication was the best fit for me. My advisor made my schedule for the first semester. Normally, I am the student that never participates in anything. I get good grades, but I’d never do any additional work and always try to minimize my efforts. My first semester though was the opposite of what I preferred. I was a part of the MNU newspaper, the Trailblazer, which not only requires a lot of work in your private time, but also a lot of responsibility, and talking to a lot of people. I need to take this class six times, and as you can imagine I wasn’t really excited about that. I thought about changing my major to something with math because I love to work with numbers and it never requires extra work or interaction with other people. One solution. Simple. Communication showed me other sites: creativity and spontaneity. After the first semester, I fell in love with it and added Broadcasting as a minor. I started to develop a huge curiosity for how to talk to people and analyze them. I love cutting videos for the newspaper and I constantly get better at it. I don’t know yet what I am going to do with it in the future, but I know God has a plan for me that will work out.


Taking pictures for Digital Photography

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Finished picture


In Melinda’s Journalism Workshop – food and drinks were provided


The interview with the Dewey’s stuff was really fun! Check out the video on the website of the Trailblazer

All I want to say is that sometimes it takes time to love what you do. If you are really unhappy with your major, you should change it of course! But if you are like me, then there are a lot of ways that are the right ones. Sports Management would probably be as interesting as Communication.

I didn’t know about all the technology hidden in Smith: new cameras, green screen, and professional microphones. Also, this year the Communication Program offered a professional journalism workshop. Whatever you chose, MNU offers so much surrounding the major. I suggest you just take a closer look!

Katie Linsey


November 11, 2015

10 Things That Change After Freshman Year

November 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

This is my second year at MNU, and although I’m going to the same school and studying the same thing, it seems vastly different from my freshman year. There are quite a few things that have changed, small and big. Here’s my personal list of things that have changed since freshman year. I hope this can apply to other students besides myself. :)

1. The amount of times you eat at Campus Center

It’s not necessarily that I eat out more, but I get real tired of the having the same thing for dinner every day. Maybe that’s my fault for being picky about what I put into my body. All I can say is I’m real thankful for the stacks of soup and protein bars in my suite.

2. The amount of studying you do

I study a lot more than I did my freshman year. It’s quite ridiculous, actually. It was easy to get away with cramming the night before and pretending I knew what I was writing about in essays last year, but not this year. Not at all. As I’m getting into upper level classes, I’m having to put a lot more effort into my assignments, tests, and projects.

3. Your relationships

So many of my relationships have changed this year… including with friends, family, and faculty. I’ve lost and gained friends this year, but the friendships I’m investing in this year have a more real sense of permanence than last year. Freshman year, it’s easy to befriend everyone and go on coffee dates with many people, but after that, there comes a point when you don’t have time for everyone you’ve befriended. Following that realization is a choice to invest in people that will become your closest friends. My relationship with my parents has also changed as I become one step closer to entering the “adult world.” I rely on them a lot more to get me on my feet and teach my practical things. I also appreciate their presence in my life a lot more than I did freshman year. My relationships with faculty have become more deep and meaningful, as I’m beginning to have the same professors for multiple classes. It’s incredible to realize how much my professors really care about me beyond my abilities in their particular class. It’s been fun getting to know them personally and continuing to learn from them.

4. Dorm life

Freshman year dorm life is an amazing thing, but it doesn’t last forever. I don’t think I have the energy to live in the freshman dorm for all of my college career. After freshman year, dorm life becomes a lot more chill (at least in Spindle). People have so much going on that it’s harder to just pop into someone’s dorm and hang out for hours. Everything has to be planned, it seems like.

5. The amount of time it takes you to get ready in the morning 

Last year, I tried a lot harder than I do this year. It was probably because I was new to the community and cared what people thought. This year, however, I care very little about what people think about my appearance. And even if I did care, I definitely care about an extra 30 minutes of sleep more. Less make-up, less nice clothes, and less heat on my hair… that’s how it goes.

6. The amount of fruit you steal from Campus Center

Like I said, Campus Center doesn’t see me quite as much as it did last year. Because of that, the amount of fruit I steal has to increase so that I have an apple to eat every day (and a banana in case I want to mix it up). Remember, folks: The bigger the backpack or the coat, the more fruit for your room.

7. Your wardrobe

This goes along with taking less time to get ready in the morning. The amount of crewneck sweatshirts has increased and the amount of jewelry has decreased. It’s all about the fuzzy socks and the baggy sweatshirts.

8. The amount of times you walk to class

Campus Security has been sure to teach me which parking lots I can’t park in, unfortunately, since I was never taught that in Freshman Seminar. It’s all about finding the parking lot that’s closest to your class and leaving 5 minutes before it starts, right?

9. You don’t have time for every single event on campus

I have gone to significantly less ASG and sporting events compared to freshman year, but that’s not because I don’t want to go. It’s because I don’t have enough time in my life to do everything. There’s always something going on, and that’s great, but it’s not gonna happen every time. And that’s okay.

10. The amount of times you check how many Spiritual Formation credits you have

It’s not that I don’t love chapel, it’s that I have 37 assignments due tomorrow and that extra hour in the morning would be really handy. As long as I get exactly 40 points, it’ll all be okay.

So… there you have it. 10 things that have changed since freshman year. Although there are a lot of changes with sophomore year, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve had a pretty good school year so far.

Thanks for reading!



Hailey Kendrick


November 10, 2015

Dating at MNU

November 10, 2015 | By | One Comment

For those who don’t know, I have a boyfriend that doesn’t go to MNU. Austin attends Saint Mary’s in Leavenworth, KS (the polar opposite direction of Olathe.)

Even though I get to see all these happy couples together on campus, sometimes I’m happy that he doesn’t go to the same university as me. One reason being that he is incredibly competitive with me; the other is that “Ring by Spring” is so real it’s scary.

Here at MNU, if you sit with a member of the opposite sex 3 or more times, you are automatically considered dating. Oh my. I hear you all gasping now.

One of my friends, Caleb, decided to make a video about the dating culture at MNU…featuring yours truly.

Please enjoy.

Mackenzie Theiler


November 9, 2015

– – – – St. Louis – – – -✗

November 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

Travel Destination #2 . . . . Hello, St. Louis, Missouri.

#tb Here is a Recap of my Halloween weekend. Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween this year! My weekend consisted of meeting up with family and friends on halloween. We ended up attending, a Birthday/Halloween Costume Soiree. I dressed up as a sailor girl, and my best friend, in the picture below, was the king of life guards on duty. After having dinner with family, we were walking back to our hotel and we ran in to Captain America. My night was made complete! Fun Fact: My favorite superhero of all time is Captain America. He obviously was not the really Captain America, but I must say, his costume was spot on!


Best Friend Photo. That bunny behind us though! Got to love halloween, people get really creative with there costumes.

My life is Complete. I found Captain America!!! ❤️⚪️💙

My life is Complete. ❤️⚪️💙       I found Captain America!!!

Rooster is the place to go for an excellent morning breakfast. Before heading to the big game (Rams vs. 49ers), we stopped there to have a delicious meal. If you are ever in St. Louis, this is one place that you must stop and eat. This french toast was divine, just by looking at it, it is alluring. The fruit, was also, exceedingly fresh. I will without a doubt, be going back there again.


Rooster – St. Louis Breakfast Done Right! #FrenchToast #BerriesandCreme

St. Louis Breakfast

Rooster – Banana Nut French Toast with a side of Fruit


This was my first, live, NFL game that I have ever attended. To be able to experience this, was incredible. We sat on the Rams side and our seating was swell. I am a 49ers fan though, but my best friend is a Rams fan. This was an early birthday present from me to them. I do have to say, thanks to my parents, for being able to get us such awesome seats. I am so grateful for the trip I got to receive.

Mackenzie Theiler: Saint Louis Pic of Niners vs. Rams game

Rams Won 27 to 6 against the 49ers. Sat on the Rams side! #EdwardJonesDome

Facebook: /kenzie.theiler
Twitter: @kenzietheiler
Instagram: @kenzie_theiler

Renee DeVault


November 9, 2015

Let’s Be Freaks and Weirdos Again

November 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

A lot of things can happen during a show week. When you’re forced to spend almost thirty hours in one week with the same group of people, crazy things are bound to happen.

Brigadoon was last week and, like most of the “fun” things I try to do on campus, God managed to wrangle his way into it.



I’m not going to talk about the show its self–although it was totally awesome, everybody in the cast did a fantastic job, the crew rocked as did the pit, and the male lead was absolutely wonderful (I think he’s super cute too. For anyone who doesn’t know, Quinn, my boyfriend, was the lead).

The really cool stuff was what happened with my friend group back stage, after the show, exhausted, and just hanging out.

I don’t know if you have ever gotten a verse stuck in your head, but the whole week I had the same one.

John 13:35 states, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

This verse is right after Jesus has washed his disciple’s feet, had the Passover meal, and called out Judas for his future betrayal. Not to make an understatement, but these disciples were going through or about to go through some pretty serious stress: a lot of it in their relationships with one another.

When Jesus was crucified, I wonder how many of them thought their whole group would separate forever. I mean, in all logical reality, the twelve of them never should have been together to begin with. They were an odd group to say the least.

However, when I think about the church of Acts it talks about them eating meals together, meeting at each others’ houses every night, praying for one another, and confessing their sins to one another. Later on it is obvious how much Paul loves everybody in the church and how much they loved Paul.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” right after Jesus told them to love one another as he loves them.

This whole idea had been bouncing around in my brain while I did this show. I was spending more time with these people then ever before. With my closest friends, I was even choosing to stay up late: sitting with them and listening to problems they were having.

Why don’t people talk anymore? Really, really, talk?

What evidence is there that we really love one another? Posting “I love you!” on somebody’s Facebook or just saying it in passing just doesn’t seem real, not when compared to the kind of biblical brotherly and sisterly love we see as part of the early church.

I know my friends and I aren’t perfect. I am a self diagnosed freak and no offence to my friends but they are far from being relationally perfect as well.


My friends laugh whole heartedly at this photo, for example

Ally Tinker (My Phantom gift giver during the show) made me a dinosaur hoodie. They made fun of me about it too like true friends.

Ally Tinker (My Phantom gift giver during the show) made me a dinosaur hoodie. They made fun of me about it too like true friends.

I think the key difference is being willing to tell people what needs to be said.

This could be me confessing something about myself that had been eating me up inside, or it could be telling a friend something that I know they need to hear. Both situations make things awkward.

It’s ok sometimes to be awkward.

Jesus washing his disciple’s feet was awkward.

Jesus sharing about his giving of his blood and his body was probably awkward.

Jesus telling Judas he knew he was going to betray him would have definitely been awkward.

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Love is weird.

I had to think about it. Why would I want to stay up to all hours of the night/morning talking about personal issues? Why would giving a stressed out friend a back rub, helping them with their makeup, or stopping in the middle of the street to legitimately ask them if they are alright be a normal thing?

It all hit me hard when, at Midnight Thirty (12:30 AM for those who don’t speak Renee), a friend texted me and asked me to bring them soup from Walmart. My gut instinct was to show the text to someone else who I knew loved this person, and before I knew it, I had a car-full of people who had previously been gung-ho ready to call it a night after a long and exhausting week of the show. We love each other.

I want my friends to be able to tell me absolutely anything they need to, and I don’t want to have a drop of judgment for, or resentment towards, them because I know there is a common grace. I want to be a relational freak, that one weird person who will say things that I culturally shouldn’t say to people and drop everything and go to their aid like a total weirdo if need be.

That’s my goal for relationships at MNU. I don’t want to attend a Christian University, have mostly Christian friends, and be able to leave without knowing what it’s like to love people to the point of it reflecting God himself.

Two things I’m praying for this week as rehearsals no longer force me to see certain people every single day…

  1. That I can somehow channel God’s love towards me into the way I relate to my friends. Jesus was radical in how he formed relationships and I need help so why not learn from him.
  2. That students at MNU would refuse to settle for casual. We were designed in the image of a being intimately dependent on three separate persons that all make up one God. It’s beautiful and complicated and engrained in our very being. Faith cannot be purely individual. We need to rediscover our need for each other.
Isaac Walker


November 6, 2015

Stress Is Stressful

November 6, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

Hey friends!  So school is stressful…That is just a part of being a student!  Deadlines, group projects, sports, work, and trying to maintain a social life can be next to impossible to balance.  All of those things are very important in the life of a student and at times, one has the highest priority.  When they start to conflict, that is when life gets stressful.  Remember though!  Everything will be alright!  I have some tips to ease your stress when things get hectic.

Go on a walk

Walk in the fall

The weather is starting to get very beautiful.  It is not too hot outside or too cold.  The temperature is perfect and relaxing.  Go out side and walk around for 10-20 minutes.  There are some nice walking paths around campus.  There is even a nature, prayer walk here on campus.  Even go out and do your homework outside!


Read a book


Reading can be a great escape.  It momentarily takes you to another place in your mind.  The book I am reading currently is authored by my favorite YouTuber at the moment.  It is a compilation of hilarious stories from her life.  This definitely works for me.


Listen to music


My favorite music to listen to when I am stressed out and am looking to relax is instrumental music.  Bethel music has two instrumental albums out that are amazing.  I also like to listen to movie soundtracks.  It Follows and Her have very good instrumental soundtracks.  Spotify also has some great playlists for instrumental songs.


There are also a few things you can do that can lessen the amount of stress that builds up.

Stay on top of your tasks


Use a daily planner.  They can be very useful.  They help you remember what your assignment is and also when it is due.  But if you are anything like me, you use your planner like a boss at the beginning of the semester and by the end of the semester, you forget you even have a planner!  Don’t do that!  Learn form my mistakes.


Prioritize your tasks.


Along with using a planner, prioritizing what you have and want to do is very helpful.  What is due sooner obviously has top priority, but be sure to make time for friends, family, and fun things!  You are only in college for so long.  These are the best years of our lives!


I guess what I am trying to say is that you are going to be alright and everything is going to work out just fine!  I gave you some tips on how to destress yourself and how to lessen the amount of stress that builds up.  People are there for you if needed!  Come find me too if you need someone to talk to!  College is a great time!  Enjoy it while it lasts!  Don’t let stress ruin it for you.

Until next time friends!