Sorry this is coming at you a day late, but I hope everyone is having a great weekend- it’s the last day of fall break for MNU students and I’ve had a great time.
School breaks or even weekends can be a great time to get to know some friends better- by having them come to your hometown or you going to theirs. It’s so fun to see all of the places in their hometown your friends talk about, meet their family and friends from back home, and get a home cooked (free and delicious) meal!
Having friends over to see my house when we need a break from the non-stop busyness of the campus is a great time to connect with them, but going out of town to someone else’s house is amazing, and that’s what I’ve been doing this weekend.
This weekend, my friends Rico, Taylor and I all packed up into Grace’s car and headed to Carthage, Missouri for their annual Maple Leaf Festival.
We got to have fun with her family, eat smoked ribs and chicken, stay up late and watch movies, and even go to a haunted house in Joplin, Missouri. The Maple Leaf events were exciting as well- we saw an almost three hour parade featuring some great marching bands, saw a band festival/competition, and got to do some great people watching.
We’re on our way back to campus today feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the semester, ready to see all of our other friends, and ready to talk to them about their fall breaks and ours.
I hope you have an amazing week, and I’ll see you this weekend!
I’m a firm believer that God uses His creation to speak to us and teach us. My favorite thing to do is go out in nature and spend time in His presence. My heart always expects Him to show up, and He always does.
A few weeks ago, God used the idea of metamorphosis to remind me that I have been transformed. When I gave myself to Christ, I gained a new identity.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV)
I was walking back from dinner one night with some friends and found a huge green caterpillar crossing the sidewalk. Long story short, it ended up in my dorm room inside a Starbucks cup. The next morning, I woke up to find it inside its cocoon.
That day in my Environmental Biology class, we spent the entire period catching and tagging Monarch butterflies. I couldn’t stop thinking about my caterpillar and how it was going to completely transform into a butterfly (or a moth) in a few weeks.
“How is that even possible? How does a caterpillar make itself a cocoon, live in it for weeks, and then come out with wings and fly away?”
There were so many questions running through my mind, and as I would stare at my caterpillar’s cocoon in my room, I couldn’t help but think that this is a metaphor for our lives.
The moment that I fully surrendered myself to Christ and decided I wasn’t going to live for myself anymore was the day that I was completely transformed. Sure, I looked the same on the outside, but not on the inside. The way I lived my life from then on was completely different… and still is.
My priorities changed. My friends changed. My schedule changed. My desires changed. My passions changed. Everything changed.
As I look at the cocoon in my room and then walk outside to see Monarchs flying around campus, I am filled with joy knowing that Christ has the power to transform us into new and beautiful creations. It doesn’t matter where you came from or where you are now. God has the power to transform anyone.
A lot of people think my fascination with nature is weird. I could watch bugs crawl around for hours. I love collecting leaves because I think they’re so cool. I enjoy laying down in the grass, not even caring about how many bug bites I’ll get. I’m not really scared of bees because I think they’re pretty. When I find something in nature that I’ve never seen before, I will most likely try to find out what it is… and it’ll bother me if I don’t. I think nature is an adventure.
I love nature so much because it’s the rawest form of God’s creation. I have come to know and understand Him more deeply by spending time in His work of art. He creates and cares for the smallest, seemingly insignificant aspects of this earth. I think that’s awe-inspiring.
My challenge to you this week is to set aside time to be in nature and let your mind wander. Talk to God and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Bring a journal and doodle or write about what you experience. Bring your Bible and read your favorite Bible verse. Enjoy the moment.
I hope you’ll set aside time to do this, and if you do, I want to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment sharing about your experience. I promise you won’t regret it!
My caterpillar crawling on my homework. He’s so cute!
My caterpillar’s home. (He made his cocoon before we could transfer him to an actual bug cage.)
This week is all about the shout outs to some of my favorite people on and off campus! You meet so many people during your four years at MNU you could practically fill up a book of yellow pages! That is what makes MNU so amazing, is all the people you meet along the journey. So this week I dedicated to a few special people!
These girls mean a lot to me! They understand me and have been there for me since the very beginning when we all found out we got elected as executive members for Assocaited Student Government! Presley, Alyssa, Kristi, Lauren and Kylen (starting from the left).They encourage me to keep going even when times are frustrating. Thanks for the support girls! #girlsruleboysdrool
This is Becca. If you have guys read my last blog you would remember that she has been one of my best friends since Freshman year and last year we lived together. Well her senior night was last night and it was amazing. They beat Benediction in a 3-0 upset. I made this collage for her from pictures since freshman year of us at her games. She is a great volleyball player and a great friend!
A few weekends ago some of my friends and me went to the lake to help celebrate my friend Nancy who was getting married. It was such a fun and relaxing weekend. This is Bre, she graduated from MNU with a nursing degree and her husband Rustin also graduated from MNU and played basketball. She is such a sweet girl and we had a blast at the Lake of the Ozarks.
This is Kristi. She is on ASG and her role is Director of Pioneer Spirit, which means she gets people pumped about the upcoming games that are happening. This was from our first football game when ASG put on a tailgate. The team won and we had a great turn out at the event. She is a great planner and a even greater friend. She also happens to be hilarious! This is someone you want to get to know if you do not already know her.
These are my awesome parents. This picture is from this summer when we went on a family vacation to Colorado. These two people mean the world to me and so I felt a shout out was in order. They support me and love me no matter what and push me to be a better person. They are always showing up for me and make me want to strive to be a better person. Plus my dad loves watching sporting events so we are buds when it comes to going to different games whether it be a MNU game or the Royals.
My last shout out goes to my roommates in Ramsey 3! Four of them play soccer. This was from a soccer game they had at the beginning of school. These girls let me love life and teach me how to. They are hilarious and always know how to make me laugh. We have grown so close these first few months from school and I can not wait to see where the year takes us. Thanks for putting up with me and always making me laugh!
Well that is it for this week! As always, comment and I would love to chat with you about any questions you have for me! Stay awesome and stay blessed!
Now if you know anything about me you will know that I love to give advice. I mean LOVE it. That is in fact what I am studying to be (I am majoring in psych because I want to be a counselor). I am really passionate about seeing people come into their own potential in what God wants to do in their lives.
So if you have read any of my blogs last year I did a few Advice Sessions so I thought why not? (shoulder shrug).
I wanted to give you a few things that have really helped me grow in my faith. Obviously there are reading your Bible, praying, going to church– the basics– but these are the things that have helped me grow beyond the mediocre and what I would advise any one of my friends. So here are a couple:
1. Taking time out of my day to sit and be quiet. I have so much noise in my life– talking and listening, classes and studying, working and interacting, music and my slight obsession with Grey’s Anatomy (don’t watch it if you want to be or continue to be a diligent student). Even when I am praying I am quick to talk and not listen and be quiet. I think we miss out on God sometimes because we are not quiet enough or slowed down enough to wait and listen.
2. Join a small group! Seriously they are great! I was in one my freshman year here at MNU and again this semester. They have helped me grow so much in the last couple years. From being able to being accountable and being consistent, to building community and fellowship–they are all important. ALSO MNU has several great ones! Gert involved in that community aspect of this school!
3. Surrounding myself with people who encourage me and bring positive and godly life! Don’t underestimate the power of some godly friends. Through any situation they are there and they are great.
4. Walk out in the gifts God has given you. I think so often I am quick to pass up on opportunities, or I think God won’t use me. Or I think I am only limited to a particular gift God has given– but then I put God in a box.. By praying and figuring out my gifts I have been given, and working on letting them develop by using them– I have grown so much more! Don’t just sit around asking God to fill you when He has already given you gifts and wants you to step out and use them to serve one another.
This is a piece of song I am working on (This is me trying to step out in the gifts God has given me) and it has to do with point of in not forgetting your first love.
5. Finally the lesson I am learning this year– if you do all these things: join small groups, surround yourself with good influences, walk out in service and gifts that challenge you and take you to the next level– but forget the very reason you will lose it. Don’t forget your first love
This is just some practical advice from my own experience that has helped me take my walk to the next level. Hope it helps you too!
In case you didn’t know, the MNU FB team beat Missouri Valley 21 to 17. We played at Arrowhead Stadium (YES WHERE THE CHIEFS PLAY!!). Missouri Valley was the #7 ranked team in the country. While we weren’t even ranked. Not a lot of people besides the MNU faithful (Shoutout!) gave us a chance to win that game. This game had everything, as every rivalry game should. One of the coolest things about the game happened before the game started, we were the home team so we got to stay in the Chief locker room, it was amazing being able to get an inside look on what NFL players experience every day.
This picture still doesn’t do the the Chief’s locker room justice. I mean…. You basically had to be there yourself.
After getting my wits together, thats when I went to go check out the field. Walking down the tunnel was amazing, you think it can’t get any better until you hit the field.
Yea I’m not going to lie, I went crazy with my snap chat today, but hey who wouldn’t right? But my snapchat story was like 400 seconds. Sorry but not sorry.
The hallowed field of arrowhead. There is so much history on this field that I can’t even try and explain it. I was so intimidated by it. I guess you could say I could feel the Chiefs’ mystique, from Len Dawson throwing TD passes to Otis Taylor, Derrick Thomas sacking Dave Kreig SEVEN times, and Jamal Charles running wild today. (You could tell I studied up on my Chiefs history before this game.)
Arrowhead Stadium, the loudest stadium in NFL and I got to play there.
Of course you know everybody on the team went crazy and took a lot of pictures.
Of course you know that I had to get a picture with my wideout family right. We played BIG today. So blessed to have met these and I’m glad to call these guys my brothers.
Finally I got that paparazzi mode out of me, it was time to focus on the task at hand. But I had to sneak one picture in.
I mean can you blame me
As we are getting ready for game and the team is lining up to hit the field. We were told the seniors were going to be introduced. That was so freaking amazing. To hear my name called and introduced, I mean I can’t even describe how I felt. I couldn’t even talk and was barely even able to function.
One of the greatest football moments of my life. A memory I will never be able to forget, not that I wanna forget something as cool as this.
The game is was amazing. The game was shown on ESPN U and ESPN 3 (Shoutout!). My mom recorded the game, so when I go home, I’m going to reliving that game all over again. The game had it all, great defense, hard hits, huge plays on offense, that moment in every close game when you need to dig deep inside yourself and leave it all out on the field, and our team did that. We took every punch that Missouri Valley hit us with, and then knocked them out with a few of our own.
Ladies and Gentleman, meet Ricky Miller, but everybody calls him Bo. He had a break out game with 6 receptions for a 109 yards. He made big plays every time we needed him, now we just gotta find a way to get him in the end zone.
Wesley Foryoh, I call him Wes, my roommate by the way. He also played big. He had 3 receptions for 75 yards and a TD. Week in and week out he always seems to be a big playmaker for us.
Here we have Earvin Simmons, but you can call Earv or Simmy. Here is a little man with a big and can break your ankles if you let him. He had 79 all purpose yards including a big reception on the game winning drive. He is like a swiss army knife, he just does it all.
The receivers step it up this week and made big plays all day. I couldn’t be more amazed at how we played. Top to bottom, we balled out. Of course you know it wasn’t all offense, our defense played their guts out, giving Missouri Valley fits and beating them down all day.
Surprise, surprise the X-factor played his heart out. Derek was second on the team in tackles with 10 tackles and a huge pass breakup that iced the game for us.
DeRahn Williams aka primetime was huge for us to. He had 7 tackles and a pick for us but at the end of the game, you would’ve thought he didn’t play because he was so clean.
Last but not least we have Matt Rashad aka Darkness. He had 5 tackles including a huge sack in the fourth quarter helping us seal the win.
When the game clock had the triple zeros on them, I just lost it, I couldn’t believe it. We won, and in one of the scariest, greatest, and most heart stopping ways possible. I couldn’t control my emotions, I just started crying all I could think of is my aunt and her struggle with cancer. How strong she is and how she fought her heart out and won. I will never forget his day for as long as I live. A once in a lifetime opportunity, and it was amazing.
We came out and shocked the world. We put the HAAC on notice on Saturday. We are not who people thought we were. #FeartheNeer
Today I’ll be talking about something very personal to me and something I don’t normally share with strangers. I’ve never posted the whole story so here it is for the first time!
This past April I was sitting in my Civil and Criminal Rights class in high school watching a movie and noticed an abnormal bump on my neck. I had never noticed it before so I went to the nurses office. She had no idea what it was but advised a visit to the doctor. Naturally, I went to the doctor and they weren’t sure either. The next step was a biopsy and if anyone has ever had one done, you feel my pain. Those suck. They stuck a needle in my neck twice (while I was awake mind you), and let me just say it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced physically. Lord have mercy.
So then we had to wait a week or two on results and when they finally arrived, we still didn’t have a clear answer. The results came back “suspicious” of something. Now I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even like science, but suspicious is just not a good word. After more waiting, the doctors decided it was too sketchy not to remove. I went in for my first surgery April 23, 2014. Before this, I had never had surgery or even been in a hospital bed so this was all new to me.
Going into the first surgery happier than a clam
IV’s freak me out so that was really the only downside to the whole surgery thing. All went well and a week later they called and were like, “by the way, you have thyroid cancer.” So that was a real shock to me and my family, but it was okay!! It took me about a minute to process it. Cancer doesn’t run in my family all that much and that was the confusing part. Other than that, I wasn’t worried one bit. I spent the rest of that night with my best friend as if nothing changed.
A week after the first surgery, I went in for the second one to get the rest of my thyroid removed. I kept telling myself that I was going to be okay cause I knew I was. The second round was a little tougher to recover from, but I missed two weeks of school so I mean, that’s a fair trade.
Treatment for the cancer wasn’t awful either. All I did was take a radioactive Iodine pill and stay in a hospital for a couple days because I was radioactive. How cool is that! I kept singing that song by Imagine Dragons too. When I got out of the hospital, I had to keep my distance from people so they wouldn’t be affected by my amazing radiation. Beyond that treatment, all I have to do is take a cute little pink pill before bed the rest of my life since I kinda sorta don’t have a thyroid anymore. I have a nice scar on my neck now and whenever I feel it or see it, I’m reminded of how God has worked in my life. It could’ve been a lot worse, but it wasn’t and I’m thankful. I am still here with my family and friends living a great life.!
Moral of the story, nothing is too big to handle when you have an even bigger God on your side!
This time, I’m gonna talk about something I’ve had to remember this year especially.
It is SO easy to just act however you want and act however you think will impress your friends. It’s even easier to say things behind people’s backs, or take judgmental posture, but we need to remember that people are always watching, and people are always listening. Whether you know it or not, someone may be modeling their behavior off of yours.
I’m a Freshman Seminar Mentor this year, so it’s been even more important to remember this than ever. The freshmen in my group are an awesome bunch of people and I can’t wait to continue to get to know them this year.
I’m guilty not only of being a bad example at times, but of following someone else’s bad example. We need to look at positive examples and be able to discern between positive and negative behavior. It’s great to have friends that you can laugh with, but what/who are you laughing at? It’s better to have friends you can sit down and open up with, who can make you laugh at yourself, or at their stories; these are the ones that will last a lifetime.
Even while still in high school, you can start to seek out deeper friendships with friends you already have, and you can look for new ones. It’s been hard to cut poisonous people out of my life because I genuinely cared about them, and I still do, but it’s so important to surround ourselves with people we can rely on, people who can help us tackle the hard times, and the tough questions.
That’s about all I have for this week! Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next weekend!
Every now and then you get to do something extraordinary. Today I, along with the rest of the MNU football team have the privileged to play in the first annual NAIA Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium. (YES! BABY, WHERE THE CHIEFS PLAY!!!) It’s also the first “Defeat all Cancer Game.” It was inspired by our offensive coordinator, Bruce Pielstick.
Coach Pielstick, lost his wife of 27 years to bladder cancer earlier this year. He was the one who came up with the idea to designate the upcoming game “Defeat All Cancer.”
This is a chance to not only play football, but it is a chance to affect people’s lives. There is an article on this game:MNU’s Arrowhead game declared ‘Defeat All Cancer’ game. Every player on the MNU football team who will be on the field today will be representing someone who has been affected or is still affected by cancer. We are going to be wearing colors the represent each cancer. Today I’m going to represent my aunt Taby Mutuku.
This my aunt Tabi, and one of her sons (everybody calls him Jo Jo). She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer earlier this year. Luckily they caught it early enough and she had the surgery to remove the cancer last month. It’s amazing to see how strong she is and no matter what happened during this ordeal, she remained faithful and she better care of me than I did of her and I wasn’t the one who had cancer. Her courage was so amazing and through the grace of God, she was able to be healed and now she’s fully steam ahead.
As you can see from the video above, this is so much more than a game. It our chance to change lives, to show people that they are not in this struggle alone. That there are people who are praying for them, people who have been in through their struggles and through us, their fight with cancer has reached a whole new level.
As for the game itself, it still hasn’t hit me that we get to play at Arrowhead Stadium yet.
The hallowed field of Arrowhead Stadium, there is so much history in this stadium from Super Bowl V and the star QB Len Dawson, the sack master Derrick Thomas, and to the Mr. Everything Jamal Charles. They all have added so much to this field, and today I get to make my little mark on this field as well.
Today we are going to the NFL player experience. We are technically the home team, so we get to dress up in the chiefs locker room. We get basically full access to the whole stadium. We go in through the players entrance, and the Seniors get introduced before the game. Also we are playing our rival Missouri Valley, They are the #7 team in the nation right now, and everyone is counting us out of this game. Hey, it’s a rivalry game and you never know what could happen in a rivalry game. We are going to shock the world today, all while changing people’s lives in the process. I still can’t believe all this happening but it’s going to be an amazing experience.
Last Saturday I had the honor and opportunity to run in the Jared Coones Memorial Pumpkin 5k Run/Walk. Going on its 16th year, this event honors the lives of Jared and Jayne Coones who died of cancer.
Got my shirt and race number. I’m ready for this thing.
MNU is a big sponsor of the event and they have a big tent and they paint people faces. It’s really a cool event. MNU also has a team that runs in the event.
Team MNU in all of its glory
I’m not going to lie the I underestimated the pace of the race but I still did a lot better than I thought. In high school I used to run track. I ran the 400 and 800 in high school. So I haven’t really ran “competitively” in about 5 years, I have a game to play later in the day and my head coach randomly shows up and 2 of his kids are also running in the race. Also I’ve never ran anything like a 5K before so this is all new and dangerous territory.
Not bad for a guy who has ran in five years. I finished 49 out of 1387 people who ran the 5K competitively, the 47th male of 761 males who competed, also 7th out of 21 in my age group of males 20 to 24.
In the end it was an amazing experience, to be able to do something for higher cause and honor the memories of two people in the process. To be honest the best part of the race was the end when everybody who was in the race were able to get massages after the race.
Shout out to the people at ProCare Chiropractic, Dr. Toby Scott came in the clutch for making sure, I was well taken care of and that I was ready for the game later on the in day. This man is a life saver.
The race was held at Black Bob elementary, its a couple of blocks from MNU. Right now the race is almost over and everyone is starting to gather in gym for the awards ceremony
At the end of all this I still had a game to play at 6 pm that day at Central Methodist University deep in the back woods of Missouri. Unfortunately we didn’t come out with the win but it was an amazing day. But trust me I’m probably not going to doing all this again. Next we have Missouri Valley at Arrowhead Stadium, its going to be a HUGE game, and man I can’t wait.