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Luther Okeyo

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January 15, 2015

The Last Leg…

January 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

Wow it’s finally here, my last semester of college. I can hardly believe it sometimes. After all we’ve all had moments where we thought, we couldn’t accomplish something that seemed incredibly daunting and challenging. For the first time in my college career I’ll be leaving the comfy confines of Lanbarger House and I’ll be living with family. When I really think about it’s amazing that I never really left that building. After my freshman year in Lanpher I just moved across the hallway to Snowbarger, and then I never left until now. I’m going to miss that place and all the memories that were made in there.

One of the toughest decision I have ever made in college. Whether I should cut my hair or not. My mom was firmly adamant that I should cut my hair. I know it sounds weird but at the time I had been growing my hair out for about a year and when I really combed out my hair, I low key had the 70s style afro. In the end I ended up keeping my and earning the wrath of my mom but IT WAS WORTH IT.

One of the toughest decision I have ever made in college. Whether I should cut my hair or not. My mom was firmly adamant that I should cut my hair. I know it sounds weird but at the time I had been growing my hair out for about a year and when I really combed out my hair, I low key had the 70s style afro. In the end I ended up keeping my and earning the wrath of my mom but IT WAS WORTH IT!!

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Holly instagram filter, Batman! This is back in sophmore when I first moved into Snowbarger. In the picture here we have (from left to right) Keenan Walker, JT “They Call Him Nasty” Braddock, & Steven “Scuba Steve” Kingsolver. This was just your typical Sunday after games when we were all too tired and soar to move, so we all got together (as you can see, really close together in some cases) and watched TV or Netflix, or played video games for most of the day. Man those were fun times.

I’m also thankful to Aunt and Uncle for letting me stay with them this last semester. I can only imagine how this semester will go, as I embrace the relief and realization that my college life is almost over and then the real world stares me in the life, while I tackle it head on.

My humble abode for my last semester. It's a little on the small side I admit, but it has character, and I'm lucky enough that my Aunt & Uncle were gracious enough to loan it to me.

My humble abode for my last semester. It’s a little on the small side I admit, but it has character, and I’m lucky enough that my Aunt & Uncle were gracious enough to loan it to me.

For this semester I have some big plans, so stay tuned to the blog and check out the stuff that will be going on here, like for example getting to see a side of an MNU athlete that most people never see.

 

Aaron Merrell

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January 11, 2015

Morning: A Call

January 11, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

Continued from the previous post entitled ‘Mourning.

 

“His anger lasts for only a moment.
    But his favor lasts for a person’s whole life.
Weeping can stay for the night.
    But joy comes in the morning.”

-Psalm 30:5


 

At the beginning of each year, my church holds a Week of Prayer.  This year, the theme was ‘Brave: Beyond the Shores.’ The day of Quincy’s funeral, a few of us decided to go to the session that evening at church.  I truly believe that it was divinely ordained.  We prayed about being able to step out of our comfort zones and onto God’s path.  We learned that sometimes our faith in God, isn’t what’s holding us back.

Often, we have no issue with our belief in God, but we get stuck in that it’s so easy to just keep going the way we are, rather than to step out and change things for the better, and that just doesn’t cut it for me.

This last semester, Quincy Foster, Annie Huff, Anastasia Weissenbach, Rico McKay, Delaney Hall and myself, met every Thursday (almost) for prayer.  We prayed at Quincy’s house, Applebee’s, Campus Center, and a few other places.  At these meetings we prayed for each other, for our personal lives, and for our campus.  And we all showed a passion to see growth on our campus.  This included growth in numbers, growth on campus, and a few other ways, but we really focused on spiritual growth.

Let’s remember and memorialize Quincy in the most positive way we know how: by finishing what she and so many others have started.  This has already begun through the designation of the Quincy Foster Memorial Fund, but we can’t stop there.  It’s time for spiritual revival at our school, and this is truly what Quincy would have wanted.  God is the source of every blessing under the sun, but we must pray, ask and be obedient in order to receive these blessings.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that after Quincy fell asleep on Highway 400, she woke up in heaven, but could our friends and family say the same of us should we die today?

We need to start yearning for God in the way that Quincy did, thirsting and searching for him in every single corner of our lives, until every aspect of every person’s personal life, and, in turn, every aspect of our campus has a pulse that beats to the will and purpose of our savior.

I have been praying for the past couple of days that God would allow us to feel the pain of loss, allow us to see the bad in situations, but still hold hope in Him.  This hope is a light for so many others, others who are struggling with loss and hurt in their own lives.

Let’s finish what Quincy started.  Let’s change the world, starting in Olathe, Kansas.

Aaron Merrell

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January 11, 2015

Mourning

January 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

I met Quincy Foster in the Fall of 2013. During the one and a half years I knew her, she taught me a lifetime of wisdom, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful. Through hours spent working at the Registrar’s office, hanging out in campus center, praying together, spending time at Quincy’s house, studying late night for statistics and genetics, and going with friends to the handful of places open after 10pm in Olathe, I learned so much from Quincy.

I learned how to do my job in the Registrar’s office. I learned how to turn my complaining about issues at MNU into actions. I learned that prayer is always a good response. I learned how to make a pizzookie. I learned how to play Presidents. I learned how not to react when you spill Dr. Pepper on your laptop.

Quincy has taught me much, and that hasn’t stopped.

Around 7 or 8 o’clock on New Year’s Day, I was in Nashville, and got a phone call from my friend Ana. It wasn’t strange for her to be calling, but while Rico and I listened to her sobbing on the phone, we knew she wasn’t kidding that Quincy had passed away, we just couldn’t admit it to ourselves. Many tears, long car rides, worship songs, and one busted piñata later, we made it back to Kansas City.

I’m currently somewhere in-between stages of grieving, and can’t really define how I’m feeling emotionally.

The feelings of loss and deep, deep sadness that we all feel will never go completely away, and it is very important to go through every stage of grief. We need to grieve completely, so we don’t become bitter, as my Pastor recently told me. We must allow ourselves to progress through the natural flow of grief and mourning, but we can’t forget the spirit of joy with which Quincy lived her life.

Let’s acknowledge that it’s okay to miss someone, and wish they were still here for us, but let’s also remember that Quincy wouldn’t want to come back here from her heavenly paradise.

Quincy taught us all this: Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Freedom from guilt, depression, mourning, sickness, sin, sadness, anger, and separation from Christ. We are truly free to live lives of joy, happiness, yet still remembering lost loved ones, and the legacy they leave for us. We are free to continue to learn from Quincy and the life she lead on earth, and the work she did while she was with us.

Even the darkest of nights shatters into a beautiful morning, and this shall be no different.  I am still learning from Quincy, even today.

I met Quincy Foster in the Fall of 2013. During the one and a half years I’ve known her, she’s taught me a lifetime of wisdom, and for that, I’m so grateful. Through hours spent working at the Registrar’s office, hanging out in campus center, praying together, spending time at Quincy’s house, studying late night for statistics and genetics, and going with friends to the handful of places open after 10pm in Olathe, and now after her time on earth has come to a close, I’m learning so much from Quincy.

To be continued…

Haley Raydo

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January 9, 2015

Christmas Break Wrap Up

January 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

So Christmas break is coming to a close and I definitely have mixed feelings about it.  I am ready to see friends and be back at school… I might not be ready for the “school” part of things.  Anyways I had a great Christmas break and I hope you all did too!

Here are some of the highlights:

I got to meet our pastor’s new baby!

 

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Mayors Christmas tree!

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Quality time at grandmas.

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Crazy outings in freezing cold weather… Not our smartest plan

 

 

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Some more quality time with my church’s college small group– previously known as the Wild Stallions.

 

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Also many coffee dates, late night movies, work (blah), family game nights, Netflix marathons, and a many books read.

It is always nice to have some down time and re-energize before going into a new semester.  Although this next semester is going to be crazy difficult, I trust the Lord will not only get me through, He will use me in my weakness.  And by weakness I mean my current lack of motivation toward education (kidding mostly).

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Mariah McCommon

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January 6, 2015

January 5th, 2015

January 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey guys. This post will be a very serious one and forgive me it’s long. As my fellow bloggers have posted already, the MNU community lost a beautiful young lady who was a bright star shining on our campus.

Personally, I didn’t know her but I have seen through her friends that she was an absolute joy to be around and from her pictures she was always smiling. Although I did not know her, I do know how this goes and my deepest empathies go out to the community.

Today is the day in which we are saying our “see you laters” to the beautiful Quincy and it also happens to be the day after a student from my high school was shot and killed by the passenger while driving his car. The suspect has not been found, but the intense search will not cease until he is found.

During my four years of high school, a total of six students died and since graduation, two more from the school. Freshman year, a girl on color guard and a spritely friend to many was killed in a car accident. Sophomore year, not long after her graduation, the Homecoming Queen, honor student, and Sunday School teacher was hit intentionally by a car and was raped during her final breaths. The summer before my junior year, a girl in my class thought to be at a dead end with her life and ended it. She was so sweet to me in a class we had together and she was much loved by her friends and family. My final year of high school was hoped to be the year without any tragedies… second semester, my best friend and I befriended a sophomore in our gym class. We all sat at lunch together and were always laughing. She was incredibly vibrant and her smile could light up any room she was in. That’s the way she lived; happy and care-free. She was unfortunately involved in a car accident and was instantly killed. Approaching the end of senior year, an intelligent senior was killed in yet another car accident along with her father as they were returning home from enrolling in college. On May 18th, 2014, another student felt like his life was over as well so he ended it. He had just graduated that morning along with the rest of us.

The community is still experiencing these kind of tragedies. A young sophomore this school year lost her battle with cancer. And yesterday, someone I graduated with was shot. It has been difficult to wrap my head around all of this and there are truly no words or answers to express what has been going on. Although my words have been depressing so far, ultimately I want to provide hope to whoever may be reading this.

This life is temporary, I think we all know that. But the sting of pain still remains as we experience loss and various kinds of heartache. It’s alright to feel pain and feel sad, but it’s important to not allow it to consume you. After all, Jesus cried too (John 11:35). Quincy and these other students would want us to be happy. I’m sure of it. The lives they led and faith they portrayed is something we can all learn from and work towards. I believe seasonal depression is a thing and that is something I’m currently trying to overcome. It doesn’t help that everything seems to happen in the dead of winter. The tragedies we experience in life seem huge while it’s happening and maybe long after they happen, but the good news is that God is still and always will be bigger than the catastrophe. Peace rests in my mind knowing that they all are smiling down upon us at the right hand of God Himself. How cool is that? They are with Him right now and we’ll see them again. In all of eternity, we are just passing through this life and it will soon be a simple blink of an eye. God promises us through His word that those who love Him will receive everlasting, life. In Revelation chapter 21 God says,

“God’s dwelling place is now among the people,
and he will dwell with them.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.” (NLT)

Later in Revelation, God provides us with an epilogue that states,

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me,
and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End.” (NLT)

I hope and pray that God comforts those who have been affected by these sudden misfortunes. He welcomes those who are weary and burdened. As for me, my strength comes from The Lord and will guide me through with the help of the two extremely strong communities that I’m so blessed to be a part of. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers and continue to express all the love you possibly can to the people around you.

Verse

Haley Raydo

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January 4, 2015

A Bright Yellow House

January 4, 2015 | By | 3 Comments

Hello friends

Well if you are involved or know anyone in the MNU community, you possibly will know of the recent tragedy that has left many people with heavy and burdened hearts.  One of MNU’s dearest went to be with Jesus a couple days ago.  When heartbreak, tragedy, and trials come our way a mix of emotions rise.  There is confusion.  There is hurt.  There is anger.  There is shock.  All of which are logical and acceptable emotions.  In the past I haven’t always thought that my grieving mix of emotions were acceptable to God.  But that is simply not the case.  Scripture says that God is near the broken-hearted.  He is saddened with us.  Remember He once lived as us, and in the lowest of circumstances.

I was driving home from Oklahoma a couple days ago reflecting on the news of the recent passing.  My heart ached for my dear friends who are broken.  I looked out into the empty fields.  Gray sky stretched across the horizon.  The dead of winter made evident throughout the landscape.  Nothing seemingly “pretty” or “happy-looking” appeared in sight.  Until I saw this bright yellow house.  I thought it was kind of interesting, so I pulled over and took a picture.  I mean this bright yellow and cheerful, little house in the middle of no where, surrounded in a storm, in the dead of winter, just sat there.  It seemed resilient. And almost out of place.

That little yellow house would not escape my mind.  I reflected on it as I drove home and I felt the Lord made an impression.  That this house was joy, it was light, it was His people.  In the midst of a storm, in the midst of all things dead, His joy, His light, and His people were set apart.  They were bright yellow houses in the dead of winter.  That as trials come “the house” will not fall.  His people will find joy in his presence (Psalm 16:11), they will find his light, and they will be that light.  So as people drive and pass that little yellow house in the storm, they will be drawn to it.  Because it contains the joy of the Lord, it contains (even in the midst of tragedy and sorrow) perseverance, and it contains overwhelming comfort.

So maybe you are heavy burdened today.  Broken hearted.  I say to you: it is ok. It is more than ok to feel how you may feel.  The Lord draws near to that.  I can’t tell you anything new that you haven’t already heard, but I think the Lord says to you today to strive for comfort and safety in that little yellow house.  In the comfort and safety of our Savior’s arms there will you shine in the midst of the darkness, and there you will find joy.

I didn’t know Quincy as well as I wish I would have. Reading through endless amount of posts of the lives she had touched truly showed a legacy that is inspiring to all.  I urge us all to pray.  Pray for her dear and close family, for her roommates and friends, and for all those who grieve today.  A wise mentor of mine told me once that God moves when we pray because that way we know that it is Him that moves and works, so He receives glory.

Haley

Samantha Moore

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January 3, 2015

God’s Timing

January 3, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

I’ve always wondered what God is thinking when something tragic happens that cannot be explained. Does he know that it will affect numerous people and will affect them for the rest of their lives? Maybe there is another reason. When tragic things happen, maybe he is teaching a lesson or maybe there is a specific purpose beyond what Earthly eyes can see.

Death. How can someone explain death? Yes the definition of death is the action or fact of dying or being killed, but I think death is beyond its definition. I think death has the ability to rock someone’s perspective of how they are living their life, it allows people to change their lifestyle because that death has affected them more than they could have imagined. In my life I have lost a grandma who I was close with but it didn’t effect me as much as I think it should have, I do not think I really understood fully. I also have lost several dogs, and everybody who knows me that rocked my world and left me very sad. Even then, I did not really feel the full effect of death because dogs are animals and they cannot speak back to you.

I recently heard this song on the radio about a month ago. At this point in life I had not felt the repercussions of death in my life. I remember listening to it several times in a row.

“I hope you’re dancing in the sky
And I hope you’re singing in the angels’ choir
I hope the angels know what they have
I bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you’ve arrived”

Recently, a friend of mine and of the MNU community lost her life in a car accident that left everyone who knew her and even people who didn’t questionings God reasoning behind why he took this beautiful soul away from us. Two days straight I have been questioning why she is gone and why God took her from us so early in her life. Is it really fair? But, is it really fair that I am questioning God? God does spontaneous things all the time that we are not able to understand and cannot see his reasoning behind it.

Quincy has a beautiful and joyous soul towards life. She loved making people smile and it was known throughout the whole MNU community and anybody who came into contact with her. She was a vital part of our community. She was a talented musician and singer. I actually met Quincy in 2009 when I was in high school. Going through old Facebook messages show how encouraging she was to me and how much she showed me who I was in Christ. Her love for Christ was radiant and shown in every thing she did. There was no question her love for music was a talent God gave her to spread his love. She also had a love for helping people and that is why she was pursing nursing as a career. She wanted to help anybody and everybody she could.

Quincy Foster

 

“‘Cause here on earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left
And here on earth everything’s different
There’s an emptiness”

“Dancing in the Sky” by Dani and Lizzy helped me through this hard time that I have been going through in questioning why God took her so soon from us. She was made for a better purpose than this Earth could provide her. She has a purpose beyond this world. Is it fair that God took her when he did? Is it fair that we question His actions?

The marks humans leave are often scars. The mark Quincy leaves on my heart is a scar, a scar to remember her sweet smile and her kind words in my every day life. Her mark is a scar on everyone’s heart that she came in contact with. The thing about scars is that they are meant to be felt. If you glide your finger over a scar on your hand you feel it. The scars on our hearts are also meant to be felt, felt deeply. These scars allow us to live. People who will be remembered because of what they did in our lives make these scars. These scars never heal.

Quincy left a scar on all of us, a scar that cannot be forgotten and a scar that will never fade. Quincy thank you for all your kind words and advice you have given me over the several years I have known you. You always had a smile to greet me when I saw you and you seemed to always know what to say to make people smile. Quincy you left a scar.

“I hope you’re dancing in the sky
And I hope you’re singing in the angels’ choir
I hope the angels know what they have
I bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you’ve arrived, since you’ve arrived”

Mariah McCommon

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January 1, 2015

Home Sweet Home

January 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey readers! I hope you had a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year and if you didn’t eat lots of food, you didn’t do the holidays quite right but that’s okay.

Break has already been flying by! I love being home and it’s nice to have an entire month to relax and be with family. Leaving my MNU friends was pretty difficult, though. I will admit I cried just a little bit. Actually a lotta bit but let’s not tell anyone. Me and my homies ate at Chick-fil-a right before we all headed home as a last hoo-rah before break which was nice.

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We call ourselves ‘The Blonde Quad’

I can actually say I’ve been somewhat bored over break and I haven’t been able to say that for the last 5 months. It’s like I appreciate being bored more now, but I miss being busy all the time too. Not being around people 24/7 is weird! I miss my roomy and realizing that my friends are all over the United States right now is scary to think about so I try not to think about it. Thank The Lord for cellphones and technology!

I love being home and attacked by my dog, Thor and clawed by my cat, Bella. No really, I missed it. They are soooo cute. If you don’t believe me, here’s proof:

THor
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I love my animals to death and I don’t know what I’d do without them! This Christmas, my sister and I received a lot of Frozen things. I could write a list of how much, but it’d be a long list. We got matching shirts with Anna and Elsa on them. Now, that may sound strange, but believe it or not, my little sis is a redhead just like Anna! Frozen happens to be both of our favorite movies cause it’s only the best movie ever made. I’m a lot like Elsa, and she’s a lot like Anna so it works out perfectly and is probable why we’re so obsessed with it. Unfortunately, I don’t shoot ice from my hands, but wouldn’t that be AWESOME?! Sometimes I pretend I do.

Amanda

We totally could pull off Anna and Elsa

My sister has been given the opportunity to perform in the Alamo Bowl down in Texas. She’s in the band as school and it’s quite the honor to be chosen to perform in the bowl. She is having a blast and I’m so proud of her. She will be playing her French Horn at half time of the K-State/UCLA game tomorrow night so if you’re not doing anything, be sure to check that out!

To wrap up, I just want to say that I hope y’all had the best Christmas and New Year ever. Enjoy the rest of break! Thanks for reading! :)

Katie Linsey

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December 31, 2014

3 Resolutions Everyone Should Have

December 31, 2014 | By | No Comments

“Lose weight.”

“Go to the gym.”

“Floss.”

“Save more money.”

Those are some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions I’ve heard, and I can definitely say those have made my list in the past years. While those are not bad things to want to accomplish, I’ve always found myself abandoning those resolutions less than a month into the New Year (and I know I’m not alone in that).

2014 was an interesting year. I learned more about myself than I have in any other season of my life. I went part-time at my high school in the beginning of 2014, which allowed for more personal time and opportunities to become more connected in my church, but also created a disconnect with peers at my school. In the summer, I took on a summer staff position at Youthfront Camp West, which taught me more about myself than I ever thought possible. I learned a lot about my leadership style and what it means to be involved in a community of believers that are striving for intentional growth in their relationship with the Lord. In the fall, I started my college experience at MNU and learned even more about myself. Throughout all of those experiences, I grew immensely in my relationship with Christ and also gained a greater sense of passion and desire to live adventurously and boldly.

This past year, I felt more alive than ever before. There are certain practices I took part in that gave life to my soul, which in turn allowed me to encourage and motivate others. I want to continue doing those things and give meaning to every day of 2015. I believe that all of us long to feel alive, but maybe some of us don’t recognize that yet. I’ve put together a short list of my resolutions, which are things that I think everyone should strive to do more of. So, without further ado…

3 Resolutions Everyone Should Have

1. Read more

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Words are powerful and inspiring. They can encourage and discourage, build up and tear down. Books have captivated my heart and led me to deeper understandings of what it means to live. There are books I read in 2014 that I plan to read again (and again), and unread books that I have added to my list. If you want to read inspiring, life-changing books, here’s a short list to get you started:

  • Love Does by Bob Goff
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
  • Radical by David Platt

2. Write more

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In 2014, I had a lot of friends that I didn’t get to see very often because we didn’t go to the same school and were always busy. We didn’t want to lose touch, so we wrote letters to each other (some by snail mail and some by e-mail). Doing this made me fall in love with the idea of writing letters (and also receiving them). It’s fun and encouraging and special. I think everyone should write letters to people, even if it’s a simple random encouragement. Sometimes those are the best.

3. Go out more

Go out more

I’ve lived 30 minutes from Kansas City my whole life, but until 2014, I had never been downtown to explore it. After many Saturday mornings at the City Market and late nights at local restaurants downtown, I quickly fell in love with the city. People always say there’s so much that they want to see in the world and they wish they could travel all the time, which I don’t disagree with, but sometimes I think we forget that there’s a city full of wonder and excitement right down the highway from us. In 2015, I want to go see more places and experience more culture, whether that’s spending a day in Kansas City or a week in (insert state or country).

So, there you have it. I hope you’ll consider reading more, writing more, and going out more in 2015. I promise that you won’t regret taking the time to do these things. Also, make sure to pay attention to what makes you feel most alive, and make sure to do more of those things. Peace and blessings to your 2015.

-KT

(Cover photo courtesy of www.igotitcovered.org)

Luther Okeyo

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December 29, 2014

Happy Holidays…

December 29, 2014 | By | No Comments

 

Hey guys, I hope you guys had a great christmas and you guys are enjoying your holidays. I’m not going to lie, I DEFINITELY AM. It is amazing to be back home. There is only one problem… My mom isn’t here. She went back to Kenya to see the family, this is one of the few times where I’m not able to spend Christmas without my mom. Don’t you worry though I was still able to talk her as much I possibly can. Also as many of you would agree, the best part of the holidays is being able to be with family. Even though I wasn’t able to be with them physically, just being able to talk to them on the phone was enough. Sharing stories with them, knowing that they’re ok was the best gift I could’ve gotten. I miss them so much, but I’ll be able to see them soon. Another great part of Christmas is of course… the presents, DUH!!! My mom definitely stepped up her game this year.

Got a MacBook Pro for Christmas. Adding this bad boy to my growing Apple collection. Thank you so much Mom!!

Got a MacBook Pro for Christmas. Adding this bad boy to my growing Apple collection. Thank you so much Mom!!

Quite the collection huh? All this means that I need to make some last minute adjustments to my gift for her. I’d tell you guys what it is, but I know that mom reads the blog post religiously so I can’t spoil the surprise. Gotcha mom! Not today, you gotta be patient and wait until you come back.

Also I want to give a huge shoutout to the wolf-pack and their families for letting me share Christmas day with them. It was such a cool experience and a huge privilege as well. For them to take me into their homes and make sure that I didn’t spend Christmas alone was awesome of them and they didn’t have to do it. That’s one of the many reasons that these guys will be my friends for life.

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The main core of the wolf-pack. To my left you have Kamaran “Pee Wee” Francis, Cory “Captain America” Ellis, and to my right you have Ryan “Birdman” Ellis. One day I’ll get the whole pack together and relieve the glory days.