Connecting with God. How do you define it? Some say quiet time, talking with others, finding Him in the word. These are ALL useful and creative puzzle pieces of discerning God’s voice, but some are more effective than others for different people. If you are more extroverted then quite time, though still necessary, is a more evasive device and talking with others is more preferred. This would be likely reversed for introverts. However you spin it, these are all, I would say necessary, forms of worshiping God.
This weekend I had the opportunity to travel with my fellow improvisational teammates to a Wichita area Nazarene lock – in. Side note, You all should hire Action Pact to perform at church, school, and whatever other events you want some energy, comedy, and interaction.
Back on track, the lock-in was awesome! Improv, speakers, gym time, ice skating, and staying up until 6 in the morning made it epic! The best part was the focus that was exhibited at the beginning, before most the chaos began. My favorite type of worshiping God took place. Music! We sang amazing songs; fast, slow, energy-filled, and spirit-consumed. My reaction got me thinking and I realized that was as impactful that music had been to me in awhile. I, and most of the 500 other people, was/were jumping, shouting, clapping, and encountering God.
I believe worship, in whatever facet, can help you encounter the Lord. Whether it is shouting praise and worship or instrumental music that you use to pray to God, the possibilities are almost endless! I believe that the music gives your heart the words to say as your mind is at a loss. I see this in what came after the worship. A speaker who talked to vulnerable hearts and prepared the road for an altar call. Sitting on the front row and seeing all these young people pour their hearts out through tears and postures taken. The best part was the comfort that followed; the loving hand of a youth worker or friend was beautiful!
Some people encounter God more in writing, drawing, alone time, or day to day life and that’s beautiful! For me, music is my favorite avenue. Being on this campus makes it SO easy! So many talented musicians and opportunities to excel in that area! I am blessed to be surrounded like this.
I encourage you all to find whatever way you feel God talk to your life the most! If you already know, never let go of it and even try to grow in other ways! After all, our God is always talking we just have to learn to listen. Sometimes it won’t make sense, but just keep turning the puzzle piece until God reveals the bigger picture!
Can I just tell you how many hours of sleep I’ve gotten this week? Maybe like 3 total every night. Some wise person once said that you can choose 2 of the following: Good grades, a social life, or sleep. Don’t get me wrong, sleeping is one of my favorite activities. It seems like I have intentions every night to be in bed by midnight. Rarely does this happen, and the nights that it does, I’m up thinking about all the things I need to do until 2 or 3 am.
The point of this story is not to tell you about how horrible life is as an academic social butterfly. I’m here to tell you friends, there is a solution.
At this point in the semester, I have officially replaced water with coffee. I’ve never been a coffee person until college. One of the nice changes made in Campus Center this year is unlimited scans. Scanning in for coffee no longer needs to be justified! A good friend of mine, Rachel Boan, taught me a couple months ago how to create the perfect iced coffee in campus center. I know it might sound like I’m exaggerating, but I crave it more than I crave Starbucks iced coffees (which is everyday of my life.) It creates the perfect refreshing drink for meal times. Coffee is no longer a hot dessert after a meal, it’s to be enjoyed at all times! This little things in life, I suppose.
Be watching for a How-To by Rachel this week, and happy November!
HEY GUYS!!! This has been another week to remember for me. Lets start off with Westboro Baptist Church. I don’t know if you are familiar with them, and if you’re not then you should look them up, but I’m not a huge fan of their theology or their actions. They picket a lot of different places for a lot of different reasons with some pretty hateful signs that I would rather not write and it just upsets me, you know? So a couple of friends and I decided to go to where they were picketing, the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at the Spring Center, and do a little picketing ourselves. Now we didn’t picket WBC, or really picket at all. We just made signs that said things like “God Loves You” and “There’s No Room for Hate in God’s Love,” went to where WBC was, and decided to tell people that God loves them. I’m sure people are sick of being told they are hated for sinning. No one can feel God’s love or is going to be reached if all they are being told is that He hates them. We just wanted to tell them that He DOES love them! God loves EVERY sinner and EVERY saint. We just wanted to actually reach people and actually show them that God not only loves them, but he DIED for them. We did not want to make WBC mad or to tell them they were wrong, just to get in the hate that was being spread and show love.
We are all just 18 years old or so and we were doing the best we could to show people God’s love. Just cause we are teens and college students doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference. This is just a small example of how we, as Christians, can really spread love through this world. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus tells us to “go make disciples of all nations.” And not only that but that He “[is] with [us] always, to the very end of the age.” Now why would a God that hates us be with us to the end of the age? He calls us to go make disciple but in that we have to follow the two greatest commandments stated in Matthew 22:37-40: To love God and to love others. Thats what our goal in life should be: to love! This just really hit me this weak. We are Christ’s disciples, and it is up to us to show the world His love.
And on a lighter matter, yesterday was Halloween! I may not have dressed up but some people did. Some people went ALL out here at MNU. Two PERFECT examples are Nathan Traxler and Ethan Grimes, both of which are Sophomores (Ethan is on the left and Nathan is on the right in the pictures below). Nathan set out to be an elderly woman and thats exactly what he did. He dressed up and acted like an elderly woman: with the dress, and the hair, and all of the other elderly parts an old woman would have (if you know what I mean). Now a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the year, during one of MNU’s famous events, Ethan managed to split his forehead open all the way to the skull on a HUGE water slide outside of the Lanbarger Dorms when another student accidentally kneed him in the face. Ethan used that to his advantage this year on Halloween and went as Harry Potter with the scar and all. I laughed soooooo hard when I saw these two guys walking together in Campus Center. This is definitely a solid image of what MNU students really stand for. Ok maybe not EXACTLY but it does represent a good portion of us students.
So those are the main highlights of my week. There’s so many other things going on here on Campus that make life really exciting here. And I’ve also been hearing of a lot of things going on over there at MNU Europe that are super exciting (Check out Cherith’s blog page here on MNU Blogs to hear more about that). It’s just weeks like this, even though I’m stressed and tired all the time because I have an insane amount of homework, that really make me proud to be a Pioneer. This is a place to be serious for God and to go out and to spread His love, but it’s also a place to just have fun, be goofy, make friends, and fellowship together. MNU in both America and in Europe are schools full of joy and love. This isn’t something you see everyday and I know I’m not the only one who sees that. This school is something to be proud of.
Imagine you are driving. It’s been quite a drive and you’re a little antsy to get where you’re going. The conditions aren’t the best. Sorta foggy, it’s beginning to drizzle. It’s near nightfall and you think you’re getting lost. O and you’re blindfolded. There are so many options on which way to go, what road to venture down. What do you choose?
This is life. Whatever “car” we’ve been given or decided to try and use to get going. Some of us have a Lexus or a 2012 Ford Fusion. While others may drive something along the lines of an 88 Ford Crown Victoria. The car we take may decide the level of difficulty at times, but our life situations do not decide our outcome.
We come to a point in life where there are decisions to be made. Whether it be concerning relationships, schools, and other possible paths of life. It is never an easy decision, but what worth effort comes cheap? Our salvation came at a high cost, school often comes at a very high price, success in which ever facet you want it in comes with work. What we often neglect is that we don’t have to fight alone. School has teachers/tutors and success is often accompanied by people who care. The same is applicable in our drives as Christians. We can get people to be our back seat navigators or when life gets that hard and it’s necessary, be our tow truck.
Don’t forget that failure is okay. It only reveals correction and answers for next time. As Paul sort of asks, “Does that mean we should continue to fail?” Of course not! A set back is a set up for a comeback! Throughout the Bible we see failure, but reasoning, guidance, and purpose behind it! Does this mean getting back up after you’ve fallen the 18th time is gonna be cake? NOPE. BUT, as the movie Soul Surfer cares to share, “I don’t need easy, just possible.”
So, back to our car ride. The road is life. It’s long and dreary sometimes. We are all wanting to get somewhere we are not. The conditions are the failures we get to face, the ones we can choose to address and adjust our skills to or let them throw us off. It’s foggy because we don’t know what’s next. A hill, mountain, sharp turn, or curve may be lurking beyond our 5 foot eye-sight range. The rain that starts is often when it gets the hardest. We begin to lose sight and try all that we can to get it off ASAP. Life is getting dark, due to all that’s already come at you, you lose hope and don’t know where to turn. You may wonder how you are driving successfully at all with a blindfold on, right? Well, that’s because you have made the decision to put it on! Follow me here You do have friends that can be in the backseat, but only One can have control of the wheel, if you let Him. Jesus is your guide, He knows the twists and turns coming. So, you gave Him the wheel and trusted Him by putting on the blindfold. So does it really matter if you can’t see? After all, faith is hope in the unseen.
A lot has happened in Switzerland this week. So here’s a recap!
ICF: A group of us went to Neuhausen to a youth/adult worship event and it was amazing. There were people from around ages 15 to about 30. Everyone got there and socialized while others bought coffee and snacks. Then at eight the craziness began. We filed into a big room with a stage. A video introducing all of the worship team played and then they all appeared. The whole night was multilingual and that was definitely my favorite aspect of the entire evening. We rocked out to songs in English then they would go right into singing in Swiss German and then there were High German lyrics below everything. Being amongst all those people was such a great experience. In the middle of worship I looked around and realized what an awesome thing I was witnessing. So many of the people in that room were from completely different backgrounds, cultures, and even languages. Yet, we were all worshipping the same God and He was speaking and working in all of us despite our differences. God was touching Swiss, German, Dutch, and us Americans all at the same time. In each of our languages, in each of our circumstances, and in each of our individual lives. That was insanely cool to be apart of!
Adopted family: Hayley and I got invited to go over to a couples’ house from the international church this past Sunday. We spend the afternoon at their house with their family and had a blast! They have three little girls that are absolutely adorable. Lilly is 3, Maddy is 5, and Katie is 8. They are actually from the states and are living here for about five years on business. We had dinner and played with the girls; they showed us around and told us jokes. They started working on art pictures to give Hayley and I when we had to leave so we will be getting those at church next time. It was really great to be in a home and family atmosphere because we haven’t had that in awhile. We got to know them and we shared our stories as well. It was good to have that hospitality and openness with them and their girls.
Halloween: We had a Halloween costume party and it was wonderful. We had Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood and a Christmas present and Rosie the Riveter and a wolf and a grandma and pirates and a peacock and a Mexican selling bananas. Yes- quite the range of characters. Linda and I went as Pharaoh and Cleopatra. We looked pretty dang good if i do say so myself. It.was.great.
I’m leaving for Frankfurt, Germany and will be there for a week so I’ll have to catch up on everything when I get back.
Learn something new today: When you look at your reflection in the outside of a spoon you will look normal but turn the spoon and look into the indented inside of the spoon and you will be upside down. Blew my mind.
Homecoming week is one of those weeks that is filled to the brim with all kinds of events. Two of my wonderful roomies are on ASG this year and worked their buns off trying to make homecoming week enjoyable for everyone. Every day was themed something different, including blast from the past day, reppin’ yo team day, and country swag day which lead up to our annual carbash and hoedown. Land gym soon became a sweat fest mixed with hay, cowboy boots, donuts, and cider. Everyone line danced until we were all completely drenched. The following evening was the homecoming banquet which was located downtown at the Uptown Theatre. Us ladies got all dolled up and primped ourselves until we could primp no more and met up with our men to take off. The venue was so fun and my dearest Lauren did such an amazing job getting all the details together so that we could enjoy the beautiful night. There was dancing this time around (pretty bawler for a Nazarene school) and we had a great time making fools of ourselves and looking absolutely ridiculous. The following night, after our pioneers crushed the yellow jackets (woot woot!), everyone went to Emerald City Gym which is basically a huge play place for the big kids. This place is filled with trampolines, rock-climbing walls, gymnastic equipment, ropes, and has a huge foam pit. It was basically a night where we revisited the good ol’ childhood days, which was just perfect. All in all, this past weekend was a riot. Thanks to all who made it possible!
………..I wouldn’t trade this crazy schedule for the world.
When I was in high school, I remember being scared out of my mind that I wouldn’t be prepared for college classes. My teachers all talked about time management and using planners. I would like to say to them that I’ve never been able to keep a planner. Every year I start out buying one thinking “this is going to be the year” and then I go strong for about a month or 2 and then lose it or quit updating it.
My dear friends, this is the year. If I could tell my high school self not to worry, and that classes are harder but my teachers would prepare me for what I need, I so would.
The good news is, I LOVE all of my projects and am SO excited, which motivates me to work on them. Right now for promotion management, we are writing an Integrated Marketing Communications campaign for Blue Springs Harley Davidson. We are working with partners, and the group that comes up with the best promotional campaign for BSHD 1. Wins! (I’m competitive) and 2. Presents it to the actual store owners, and gets a chance for their ideas to be used. Excited? juuusssst a little! Also, my partner and I plan to win and be used as the example for years to come. I’ll share our ideas and the reasons behind it once the other groups have solidified their campaigns and cannot steal our idea.
On top of all the school work, there’s so much going on for entertainment! Homecoming banquet this year was at the Uptown Theatre in Kansas City (near Westport.) It was a beautiful night, and please note the cutest date ever, my nephew Mr. Lennox Vieux.
Then, there are sporting events! We hopped all around to the games because womens soccer, football, and mens soccer all overlapped. Can I just say how excited I am to be a Pioneer? Both soccer teams tied, Kei Kamara (of Sporting KC) made an appearance, and football won 55-0! Everything we do, we do with excellence.