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Katie Linsey


October 20, 2015


October 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey! So, last week was Homecoming Week here at MNU… which means every night is filled with fun, friends, and free food. :)

Here’s a quick recap of the events that I attended.

Thursday night: Hoedown


The Hoedown is something I look forward to every year. It’s basically a bunch of fun dancing, donuts from the Louisburg Cider Mill, root beer, and the crowning of the class princes and princesses!

Friday night: Bonfire/Buck Night


This year, ASG decided to do a giant bonfire at one of the football practice fields and then gave every student free food at the Buck Night. The Buck Night is a place where alumni gather and have the opportunity to make food and sell samples of it to friends. There was also live music and the Royals game playing… it’s a fun evening with fellow students and graduates of MNU!

Saturday afternoon: Homecoming Football Game

football game

I went to the game with a few of my suite mates… Christen and Tori. :) It was a perfect afternoon for a football game and WE WON. Also, the Homecoming king and queen were crowned, which is always fun to watch.

Saturday evening: Homecoming Banquet


No, I didn’t have a date… but I did have my wonderful suite mate, Christen, to go with! It was a wonderful meal that left me stuffed, followed by a candy bar that I visited even though I was stuffed. There was lots of fun dancing and good conversations with friends that I don’t see often. And everyone looked stunning! It’s always fun to dress up.

Sunday (after church of course): Sleep.

So… there ya have it. MNU Homecoming Week is always something to look forward to. :)


Renee DeVault


October 19, 2015

How to Make Friends with the Awkward Dinosaur

October 19, 2015 | By | No Comments

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

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

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

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

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

Quinn and I at homecoming this weekend

Quinn and I at homecoming this weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex and Shakespeare

Alex and Shakespeare

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

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

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

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

Saturday afternoon we decided to go to the Cider Mill.

Saturday afternoon we decided to go to the Cider Mill.

Sparkling cider and donuts made an awesome pre-homecoming snack

Sparkling cider and donuts made an awesome pre-homecoming snack

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

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

Sunday afternoon we went to IKEA for dinner and adventuring

Sunday afternoon we went to IKEA for dinner and adventuring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Points I’m praying over.

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







Mackenzie Theiler


October 18, 2015

▿ Recognize the Good in Your Life ▿

October 18, 2015 | By | No Comments


“God blesses you to become a blessing. When he gives you a gift, it is because he trusts you with it. He hopes you turn around and do something powerful with it.”  

                                                       – Anonymous

   Throughout life God blesses us. These blessings are gifts. These gifts can be a wide variety of many things, from a challenge we have to overcome, learn from, start over, accept, appreciate, be thankful for, etc. He gives us these gifts to help make us into the person we are today. He would not bless us, if he was unsure we could handle them. A lot of us have dealt with some type of challenge or challenges, that we either had to overcome, learn from, start over, or accept. I know I have. This is why I am, who I am today. Does he still challenge me? Yes, I am not perfect . . . I am always changing and bettering myself to become the powerful blessing he created me to become.

   Choosing a difficult major and a collegiate athlete, let alone, is a lot of time, effort, and hard work. Trying to juggle that, with a social life, family, and friendships, is a lot to take on! With last week and this week, there has been so much that has gone on. Since, I have arrived at MNU, I feel as though God has been challenging me. To see if I am capable of over coming the obstacles he has placed in front of me.

   For those of you who haven’t started college, in college, or even out of college, we are already half way through the semester. God has thrown a lot at me, just in these last few weeks. This is about the time when students start getting sick (strep throat) and tired (late nights studying) because classes have started to pick up with exams, homework, projects, etc. Besides school life, to be a top athlete you always have to be preforming at your highest level every practice. Being so far away from home, students start to get home sick. Realizing you cannot talk to your friends every day or plan a get away weekend, just to relax. Students may start to feel overwhelmed and feel as though there is to much to do and not enough time, in the day, to do it all. This is what people experience in everyday life. A coach told me, “Life keeps going. It does not care about your feelings or what is going on in your life. Deal with life as it comes at you, and no matter what, you, keep going.” 

   What God has taught me to overcome from these last few weeks is how to time manage, stay disciplined with my life, and focus on what it is that I want to accomplish.

   As we make our way through this hectic, fun, adventurous, stressful, tiring, vivacious, and energetic life . . . maybe, currently dealing with a challenge God has placed in front of you, know that you are not alone. Be thankful for the opportunities he has blessed us with. If it is rough, it too shall pass . . . and . . . if it is gratifying, enjoy every moment of it.

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

Isaac Walker


October 16, 2015

When Your Best Friend Is A Snapchat Master

October 16, 2015 | By | One Comment

Hey friend!  So I have a feeling that most of you have the app Snapchat or even heard about it if you don’t have the app on your phone. It’s a great way to communicate and keep up with people that is fun and creative.  But I think it’s safe to say that my best friend Chelsea is a Snapchat master. She has conquered the art of Snapchat. Chelsea can take a selfie and turn it into something beautiful.  Here are a few examples!


Here she is the infamous Queen of Hearts from the live adaptation version of Disney's Alice In Wonderland

Here she is the infamous Queen of Hearts from the live adaptation version of Disney’s Alice In Wonderland.

Going along with the Wonderland theme, here is Chelsea as the lovely Alice.

Going along with the Wonderland theme, here is Chelsea as the lovely Alice.

Feeling the colorful breeze as Pocahontas.

Feeling the colorful breeze as Pocahontas.

Who doesn't want to be a wizard?!

Who doesn’t want to be a wizard?!

A shout out to any Twentyone Pilots fans out there.

A shout out to any Twentyone Pilots fans out there.

Any soul who follows Chelsea on Snapchat isn't poor and unfortunate!

Any soul who follows Chelsea on Snapchat isn’t poor and unfortunate!

Here she is as the baddest Disney Villan there ever was.

Here she is as the baddest Disney Villan there ever was.

This is literally my favorite one she has ever sent me.

This is literally my favorite one she has ever made.

And if you’re lucky, she may even let you be her work of art.

Pure joy.

Pure joy.

As you can see, Snapchat is what you make it. It can be a great way to keep up with people you don’t get to see often, but it can also be your canvas, allowing you to be a creative master mind.

Until next time friends!

Div Tosinglo


October 16, 2015

Wonderin’ If it’s even worth the chase

October 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

Well I’m wonderin’ bout the road ahead of me,

Wonderin’ bout the things you said to me,

Wonderin’ if these dreams will ever do.

And I’m wonderin’ bout the way I spend my days,

Wonderin’ if it’s even worth the chase,

Wonderin’ if there’s still a need from you.”

These lyrics are from a old song by TobyMac called Wonderin’. Lately, I’ve not only found myself listening to it constantly, but relating to the idea of wonderin. A point most of us find themselves in more often than we would like to admit.

As college students we come in knowing about the debts, homesickness, hard work, and the rest of the adversities that come with attending college. But we still do it, because we believe all of the hard work has purpose, and meaning. That purpose drives us on the hardest days of school. The days we crave for an easier lifestyle. A lifestyle where finances ins’t a constant struggle. A lifestyle where everything and everyone is demanding not a piece, but all of you at the same time. But our purpose drives us through all of those hard times.

I came into college knowing that fulfilling God’s will for my life was my purpose. I was going to deal with the financial dilemma, the challenging courses, the work load, the jobs. I was going to take all of it head on, because at the end of all of that I will have gotten an education that will equip me to serve God effectively.

The hardest day for a college student is the day they wake up, and forget their purpose in being here. Their attitude about classes, homework, work, tuition is all apathetic. They stop loving it. They stop being grateful for the opportunities. Every waking second is a second stress holds their mind captive. They find themselves not trying to fix new-born attitude, but they find themselves pondering the idea of quitting.

Recently, I have been reminded that though

I want to do this for God; I shouldn’t  forget I can’t do this without him.

Without him classes are just classes and homework is just homework. Without him the college experience would be empty and dreadful one that I would be trying to survive. But college isn’t about surviving, but it’s about thriving and growing. God has reminded me that here at MidAmerica I’m learning how to serve and love a hurting world. I’m learning how to be an active christian.

God is more than my purpose; he is my strength. College is hard there is no doubt about it. The day will come where you’ll wonder if this degree is worth the chase. You’ll wonder if you’re wasting your time.  I pray that you’d bring your wondrein mind to God. I hope you come to see that these are the years he’s equipping you, so one day you can be used as an instrument in restoring the brokenness in our world.

Lynsie Petersen


October 15, 2015

Dream Jobs…Take 2

October 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

If you know anything about me, you know that I want to be an actress. Not just any old actress, but a Broadway star, the next BIG THING, the next Idina Menzel or Sutton Foster, the next legend. And if you know me, you’ll know that I won’t stop until I reach my dreams.

This weekend, some friends and I were hanging out at the Renaissance Festival (Ren Fest for short), and I made the comment, “I’d love to work here”. So I started thinking, “If someone put a gun to my head and told me that I could never go to Broadway or they’d kill me, what would I do?” Most people would say that they’d either 1) run as far away as possible or 2) they’d go for it anyway. I would compromise the two. I would stay in the KC area after graduation and work at Ren Fest. It would be so much fun to work with the talented actors who make up the troupe, and I love the hoop skirts and accents, so why not?

I put myself in the closest possible position as an employee, but not actually one. I was in costume, as a runaway princess from Scotland (the kingdom of Brigadoon, to be exact) and did my best to keep a consistent accent.

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Every time King Henry VIII or Queen Anne Boleyn would pass, I would curtsy and their response was always, “You may rise now” and continue walking.

I flirted with one of the knights in the joust, just like a lady in waiting would have.


Sir Malcolm and I after the joust.


This is the “token of my esteemed gratitude” I present to Sir Malcolm before he jousted.


And most importantly, I had the time of my life in Canterbury, England in the Renaissance, which also meant ignoring my cell phone for a majority of the day, only bringing it out to snap a few pictures.


I stopped to listen to “The Dublin Harpers” and I even did a little Scottish jig.

I ended the day with my very own Queen Elsa (Frozen) crown and a ton of new memories.


I don’t at all expect to ever actually work at Ren Fest, nor do I anticipate a gunman preventing me from fulfilling my true dreams, but sometimes it’s fun to imagine such a ridiculous event.


“Once upon a time starts now”, so follow your dreams, no matter what they are. And tell me about them! Comment below and tell me what your wildest dream is and if a gunman stopped you, what would you do? No matter how ridiculous, I want to know! :)

Stephanie Krohn


October 14, 2015

A Dream coming true!

October 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hugging, players who are crying, and a coach running to his seniors with the words: “Can you believe this?” That is what our team experienced yesterday at Benedictine.

It was the sixth game into conference – usually nothing special except for the fact that the women soccer team has never beaten that team before. Our coach, Skelly Kellar, prepared us really well. Within one day of practice, we went over all their strengths and weaknesses. It was so important that I ignored school completely for two days. And there it was: the day of the fight. Last year, they kicked us out in the play-offs and went to Nationals. Everyone remembered it because it was one of the coldest days ever. The players who played Benedictine before know how rough they play. Especially the seniors were longing for a result after being dominated by them for three year. In those three years, they have never scored on this team, so it was time. Our goal was simple: score at least one goal and whatever happens, don’t panic!

We started well, but Benedictine was testing our defense throughout the game. They had a freekick at the top of our box, but Anesa Curic, the freshmen goalkeeper, saved it last minute. After 20 minutes, we had a freekick close to the corner. Kelli Reid crossed the ball and our injured player, Kayleen Pfaff, headed the ball in for the 1:0 lead. We could not believe it! The support from the bench, the men soccer team at the sideline, and the people who came to watch was incredible, and we scored two more in the first half. Everyone was happy, but we knew it wasn’t over, yet.


Benedictine would come out strong and motivated, and they were ready to play more intense. They scored early in the second half which gave them confidence. We wanted this win more than anything else though; we wanted the impossible. So, we had a great comeback with two more goals. When the time ran out, everyone from the bench sprinted on the field – even St. John was there to celebrate with us. The seniors had tears in their eyes and former player congratulated us on social media. Nobody expected a result like 5-1. The night was even better when Volleyball won 3-0, and men soccer turned their game around, scoring three goals after being down by two.

We scream, we shouted, we were pushed down, but got up again. It was the best feeling in the world because we accomplished it as a team, and it was worth everything – the hard work, the bruises, and even the bad grade in my exam. In that night, we were all smiling, enjoying this great victory. Some might say, it is just a normal win, but we made history and showed that we can do anything as a team. Now, we need to proof that we can do it again. As the German coach, Sepp Herberger, would say: “The next game is always the hardest. (Original: Das nächste Spiel ist immer das schwerste.)

Just one more time because it is freaking awesome: WE BEAT NO. 3 IN THE NATION!!!!!

Hailey Kendrick


October 14, 2015

You may say that I put my faith in a God that I cannot see

October 14, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

I took a trip to North Carolina this past May and saw some amazing things in nature. It's one of the many times that I was reminder that God is all around us.

I took a trip to North Carolina this past May and saw some amazing things in nature. It’s one of the many times that I was reminded that God is all around us.

You may not understand, you may not even agree. You may say that I put my faith in a God that I can’t see. But the truth is, I see him every day.

I see him when I walk outside and see the weather, in whatever form it may be, I know my God created it and all its diversity. I see him when I wake up to my loved ones and see their smile every morning. I see him in the 4-year-old in their mother’s arms; what a beautiful sight that God has made in his own image. I see him in my mentors; how they guide me and push me beyond my own imagination; I imagine that is what God would do if he was in human form.

I see him in my professor when he demonstrates his vast amount of knowledge and radiants such brilliancy in his work. I see him in my professor’s passion to help us, to love us, and to be a guidance when we have questions. I see him in the students that lead chapel, not because they are praising God, but because they stand there, with hands held high, eyes closed, and overwhelmed with his love for them and how powerful in their lives that it is, that means something to them. It means something so powerful that you can only stand back and wish you had it, whatever it is, that fantastic feeling of love and mercy. Well, that’s if you don’t already know what it feels like.

I see him in the boy’s soccer coach, who spoke at chapel a few weeks ago, taking about how he lives out his life turned towards God and all that that meant in his life; shaping and forming him into the man he is today. I see him in St. John, who I don’t have as a professor yet, but every time I walk by he smiles (when I’m just a stranger) and you can tell he truly cares for people. I see him in my store manager when she talks about how to manage best and shows her care for her employees, even at the sake of the business, she stops and listens and offers a hand. She trains me carefully and tries her best to mold me into a better person. I imagine that is how God is to us. In fact, I know that is how God is to us.

I imagine that all these people embody what in means to be Christ-Like. Because I believe in a God who wants to have a personal relationship with me. He wants to be my father, if I just let him. He wants to help guide me on important decisions, through my tough times, and love me through good or bad. He wants to accept me, exactly how I am, and take care of me as if I was his student, employee, friend, or stranger.

I know this may be hard for some people to imagine. The act of loving and focusing our whole life on a God that isn’t in human form. Who isn’t going to walk up and shake your hand directly; but someone else will, someone like these people. You see, God does it through others; he does it through the weather, the mentor, the 4-year-old, the professor, the coach, the stranger, or the manager. He shows himself to us because he wants us to know him. This may shock you, but God doesn’t live off in some mystical place. God does not only reside in heaven. God is standing next to you; he is by your side, he doesn’t leave, and he never will. He simply waits for you to turn your focus to him. He waits for the time when you realize that he is what is going to fill the void in your life, to help you find purpose, and even more, to be better than you ever imagined before.

Our whole lives we are searching to be known and to know. I’ve spent years in unhealthy relationships that proved time and time again that the people who say the love me, don’t even really know who I am. I will be the first to say I hate the feeling of being unknown, unheard, or misunderstood; I think we all do to some extent. But the beauty and awesomeness of the God of the bible, the God of my life, is that he knows me from beginning to end. He has never misunderstood me, and all he wants is for us to know him too.

I hope this inspired deep thought for someone; challenges you to think outside of our own personal boxes. It makes you think when there’s so many negatives in the world that God is still surrounding us in unexpected forms.

Katie Linsey


October 13, 2015

9 Apps Every College Student Should Have

October 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey friends! I’ve discovered that these apps have been really helpful in my college career. I hope that these will help you as well.


1. Quizlet

This is number one because I believe that this app is partially responsible for the times that I get good grades on tests. Basically, Quizlet is a place where you can make notecards online and turn them into many different studying tools. For example, once you make a set of notecards on the website, you can change it to a study guide, printable notecards, and even play games with the terms. Once you create a set, you can download the app on your phone and practice the terms on your phone whenever you want. I usually use Quizlet when I’m waiting for a class to start or have a little chunk of time where I’m not doing anything. It’s addicting!


2. CNN

Basically, what I’m trying to say with this one is that everyone needs to have some sort of news app on their phone. And make sure that your alerts are on, so that you can be constantly updated on what’s going on in the world. It’s important.


3. Meme Generator

Maybe I’m the only one who takes tons of funny pictures of my friends. But I doubt that.


4. CalenMob Calendar

This app was my saving grace last year. This calendar app combines your iPhone, Google, and social media calendars all together in one giant calendar. There’s multiple different views and it’s easy to maneuver. (And planners are expensive these days).


5. EasyBib

It’s simply a more convenient way to access EasyBib, which I know you all already use anyway.


Just because we’re college students, doesn’t mean we automatically know what big words mean. I only wish my professors knew that.


7. TED

TED Talks are so good, and they don’t make me feel like I’m wasting my time unlike social media sometimes does. It’s informational, educational, and interesting all at the same time. I suggest listening to them when you’re driving somewhere or getting ready in the morning.


8. Doulingo

I always get these random urges to learn weird languages. It never lasts long, but at least I have an app that can fulfill that desire for the time being. It’s also a good thing to do when you have a little bit of time to kill and want to feel like you’re being productive.


9. Safe Trek

This app is helpful to use if you feel unsafe in a situation. Basically, this is how it works: You open the app and press down on the screen if you’re in a potentially harmful situation. Once you’re out of the situation, you lift your finger and enter a code that you picked. If you never end up putting in the code, the police will be contacted. It’s a good medium between doing nothing and calling 911. You never know when you could need an app like this one.

That’s all I have for you this week. If you can think of any other useful apps, feel free to comment below!


(Photos courtesy of

Renee DeVault


October 12, 2015

Intro to Ministry Retreat

October 12, 2015 | By | One Comment

Friday night into Saturday morning was the Intro To Ministry class retreat, a trip designed to help beginning ministry students get to know each other and their professors better as well as learn new spiritual disciplines, how to “be real” with people, and the importance questioning mind-set. They threw in a gorgeous catholic retreat center and food because they love us and we got to meet and hang out with the professors who will be teaching us as we embark on our quests for a degree from the Department of Christian Education and Spiritual Formation.
It sounded really nice. I would have been happy if that was all God wanted me to learn over our short, less than 24 hour retreat. But I guess thinking I could slide through a ministry retreat unchanged was a tad foolish of me.
As always, I had managed to get myself in way over my head, pulling my brain in a hundred different directions right before I needed it to focus. Dr. Dunn asked the class to handle the introduction, worship, prayer, and devotional for the group on Saturday morning.
When he sent out an email requesting help I responded, in my first week of college optimism, that I would definitely have the time to write a meaningful and well thought through devotional that could potentially impact the lives of a class of future leaders of the Kingdom of God and thus could have eternal consequences, sure thing.
I was a good little student and got my devotional written more than a week before the retreat, had Dr. Dunn edit it for me and felt like I had completed my assignment when I boarded the people mover with some of my classmates on the way to our Catholic Retreat Center.
Friends who happened to share the van ride up

Friends who happened to share the van ride up

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It was during all of the (absolutely incredible and I wish I could nerd rant about how cool they were) “get to know you” activities that I began to question my little ten minute devotional I had written. There was no heart in it, no real call to action. It was all facts and criticism. I was reminded about something Dr. Hayse said in Honors Seminar. I have to paraphrase him but it was basically that criticism is easy but offering a practical solution to the problem is hard.

As we moved into the night to play volleyball and board games I began to worry about it more and more. I wanted so badly to shine for ten minutes of informative Jesus glory but I knew my material was flat. I tried to talk myself out of caring, but it morphed into praying when St. John explained the spiritual discipline the group was going to be practicing that night.


He asked us to not say a word to one another or even talk out loud at all for the rest of the night and into the next morning. Silence shows reverence to God, respect. He also urged us to quiet our minds. I was utterly confused about that even being a human possibility. My mind runs a million miles an hour, I constantly have dozens of things on my mind at a time but as we walked into the dark chapel my thoughts slowly began to lessen.

Its difficult to describe exactly what happened. I encourage you to try it some time though I can never promise God will act the same way twice. After our allotted prayer time we were told that we could stay in the chapel and pray or read our bible. I situated myself in the very back and began to pray, then just let my mind be quiet. The next thing I knew God started bringing aspects of my life that I needed to give to him to mind. In order to keep my mind quiet I had to give each thing to him as he brought them to me until everything that I was worrying about was gone. I opened my eyes to find myself alone in this big beautiful building, the only lights shining were on the crucifix up front and on the alter.

It was 1:00 in the morning.

God never agrees with my time table.

It was at that point that I began to rewrite. I opened my notebook, wrote what was on my heart, then at almost 2am I was allowed to sleep.

I woke up without a care in the world. It was an experience I haven’t had since starting high school. 8:30am rolled around, my friends and professors came into the chapel. We read scripture, we worshiped, and I got up to the pew and got to tell people what God put on my heart.

I shared from Jeremiah 29. I am unable to tell you exactly what I said because I threw out my typed manuscript, but basically I talked about how Christians today aren’t all that different from God’s people historically. We have a pattern of being exiled in a foreign land and then called out again. In Jeremiah, God is talking to his people in exile in Babylon. Since we, members of God’s Kingdom, are living here on earth, we are (in essence) exiles as well and thus, I figured since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, that his instructions to his people in exile in Babylon apply to us today.

God basically told them to settle down and work for Babylon, allow themselves to live life there, and called them to work and pray for their country of exile because their lives for the time being were bound up in that nation. However, God then warned about the false prophets and teachings of Babylon, telling his people not to be fooled by thinking their version of good was what God defined as good. He then gave his famous “for I know the plans I have for you” bit and promised to answer them when they called on him and to eventually lead them out of exile.

My devotional was about not allowing our standard for Christian behavior to be set by the culture, becoming comfortable and then being afraid of asking for God’s instructions because our God is one who cares much more about our character than he does about our comfort. I said that when we allow ourselves to use God’s standard to evaluate our lives we are no longer comfortable living as socially accepted Christians. I feel like we can be living in and working for our country of exile for so long that we begin to adopt their ideas as our own, and when we adopt these ideas God calls us to act contrary to them, and when God asks us to act contrary to them we have a crisis of faith, being unwilling to take the risk that God asked us to do. And when we don’t want to take the risk we stop asking God to give us instructions, and when we stop asking God to give us instructions God can grow quiet.

I don’t want to live in a world with a quiet God.

And so I called for two things.

  1. That we would begin to develop a holy discontent for the amount of God’s presence we allow in our day to day lives. I want to be a part of God’s church that has the same revolutionary impact and supernatural power as the church in Acts, but I was convicted, realizing I wasn’t even praying for it.
  2. That we would pray without fear of God messing up our lives. I had found myself avoiding prayer because I thought God would ask me to risk something, that he would make me uncomfortable. I have to stop questioning God’s attempts to make me uncomfortable and start questioning why I allowed myself to get comfortable in the first place.

Some people told me my devotional was really good. I was thankful for their compliments, but really I think it did me more good than it could have done anybody else. I loved it. I loved speaking about what I’m passionate about. I cannot believe the incredible opportunities MNU allows me to have. I got the opportunity to be completely scared out of my mind, learn to listen to the spirit, and get the practical experience of giving a devotional to a room full of professors and future ministers. In all technicality, this retreat was just one large class session. I got points for going, I think. But this was only one example of a time when the boundaries between class and “real life” went away and “school work” became God’s way of doing some “life work” on me.