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Renee DeVault


April 11, 2016

When all you need is love but all you have is work

April 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

You know there’s a problem when you trudge up the steps of Smith on a Monday morning after having slept for three hours, get to the top of the stairs, realize your 9am class is on the bottom floor, walk down the stairs, realize you’re having small group Bible studies in place of class…and yours is happening in your office…on the top floor, so you sigh and accept your fate and trudge back upstairs only to realize that you left your backpack in the bathroom…downstairs.

There is no amount of coffee in the world that can solve April.

On top of classes I have events almost every single day this month. Some of it is stressful but the majority of it is fun. Things are coming to an end. I have end of the year banquets, final research presentations to attend, tests to take, and four improv events this month which must be done.

But in the midst of chaos and business God has been hugely at work in my life and in the lives of my friends. Quinn and I went to CauseCon, a young adult conference that my home church, Vineyard Community Church. It was incredible to get to attend some extensive teaching and do some worshiping with over 400 other young adults all weekend.

While it was crazy busy and meant Quinn and I were driving all over the Olathe/OP area, the business meant we learned about Human Trafficking, some theories of worship, new ways to share the gospel, new theological ideas, and made several new friends with Christian Young Adults all over the country.

Sometimes busy is good.

Business is what drove a friend of mine to come to my small group and ask for prayer. He felt overwhelmed and done with life but it lead to our group unifying in prayer and calling on God. God can work in our mountain of fiery stress.

I would encourage all students/faculty/humans to not let the stress of these last couple of weeks cause distance between friends and God. Mutual stress among friends can draw people together and coming to an end of ourselves can turn us towards God.

Renee DeVault


March 7, 2016

Action Pact and Religions of the World

March 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

I have been loving this semester of classes that I’m in as well as the events that I’ve gotten to do through Action Pact, the improv SERVE team that I’m a part of.

Friday Action Pact and VOP (Voices of Praise, the singing group that Quinn is a part of) got to work together to put on an awesome show for Heritage Christian Academy’s Father Daughter Banquet.

It was a great tag-team event with VOP singing and Action Pact playing some games culminating in a SERVE team showdown lip sinc battle before VOP performed their final set.

I love getting the chance to do theater as one of my jobs. It’s something I never would have expected to be doing this time last year.

Another awesome factor about this last week has been my Religions of the World class taught by Dr. Randy Cloud and Dr. Charles Christian. It’s required for my major but students can take it as an elective or a philosophy gen-ed class.

This week Dr. Cloud talked about Islam and some of the myths that we believe about Muslims. There was a large component about learning the facts of the religion including it’s history and practices but we also just had some great discussion time.

Dr. Cloud brought some traditional Islamic clothing into class for us to look at while he led the lecture.

Dr. Cloud brought some traditional Islamic clothing into class for us to look at while he led the lecture.

It’s really been an incredible class. Learning about other religions really has helped me understand Christianity better and some of the ways it is unique. My favorite experience by far was Saturday when I went with Dr. Cloud, Quinn, and Matt, a friend and fellow classmate (in my Hebrew class actually) went to a Messianic Jewish service.

The best way I could have described the experience was joyful. They danced during worship and clapped and smiled and shouted out. I loved watching the joy and reverence that they had for the Torah and the Gospels which they have a copy of in Hebrew.

I loved how they did one lesson from the Hebrew Torah (our Old Testament) and one lesson from the Gospels. The balance of old and new was beautiful both in testaments as well as in culture.

Be open to new experiences. I’m having a lot of fun.

Mackenzie Theiler


March 7, 2016


March 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

Why are colleges set up differently then others? As in, why are some colleges set up as a quarter system, verse’s some are set up as a semester system? What makes them, so, different from one another?

Well, the difference, for those that do not know, a semester is 14 to 16 weeks and a quarter is 6 to 8 weeks. There would be 2 quarters for 1 semester. I go back and forth if, I like semesters or quarter systems better. I like that there is only 8 weeks, which makes it crunch time all the time. I also, like, that one can take more classes in a quarter system; whereas, semesters you are stuck with those classes till school is out. I do like, in having a semester system, there is more time to get your work done; and if you get injured, like me, you have time to make up work and still, stay on top of class work.

I feel like one’s preference would be if they are, a “go, go, go,” or they like to take their time and things slow. My JC school were semesters. Here, at MNU, it is also, step up as semesters. I really like taking summer classes, though; because they are, only, 6 to 8 weeks long. I seem to preform better, when my classes are in a shorter amount of weeks. Then again, if, I had an excellent professor that did not teach us, with such high difficultly, and went about a different approach, as in, “we know absolutely nothing about this class,” teach us SMARTER not HARDER! They would be a lot more successful kids. Professors should reach out to the attendance, find there interests, not just teach the class, straight out of the book!

If you are taking semesters, it helps to find classes you are interested in. Sometimes, though, there are classes that are not as fun, but you have to take them to get your degree. Being in a semester there are more changes to change your grade than in a quarter. It is a lot more rigorous and one must be focused. Taking semester classes though, there is a lot more room and error for someone to slack off and get sick of the class. It, too, takes a lot of focus and staying on track to finish with a good grade.

For those of you who have not started college yet, or you are a parent, and trying to help your son or daughter find a school. I would encourage them to look into, if they want to be in a quarter system school or a semester system school.

Whichever school you decide to attend, Rate My Professors is an awesome site, where previous students wrote about what they thought of their professor. This can help you decide what professors are good, bad, and fit your needs as student.

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

Isaac Walker


February 27, 2016

10 Questions College Students Are Tired Of Hearing

February 27, 2016 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

So I have been thinking lately and I have no idea what I want to do with my life.  I am majoring in sociology and I have some ideas about what I want to do, but I have not fully committed to anything.  I am only 21!  Sometimes I tell myself that I am young and I have plenty of time.  But other times I feel so old and that if I do not figure this out soon, I am going to die sad and miserable!  I was asked a few days ago what I am majoring in by an older man I had literally never spoken before.  After I told him I am majoring in Sociology, he asked me what I plan to do with that when I graduate.  I already hate it when people ask me that question, but he asked the question with a slightly condescending tone.  This leads me to the topic of this blog!  10 Questions all college students are tired of hearing.

  •  What are you studying?
  • 1

    Even ifI told you, you wouldn’t understand.

  • What do you plan on doing with that major?
  • I don't know! I still have plenty of time to figure it out.

    I don’t know! I still have plenty of time to figure it out.

  • Ready for the Real World?
  • Like this is not the real world now?

    Like this is not the real world now?

  • Are you going to get your masters degree next?
  • I still have to get through all of this first. Leave me be.

    I still have to get through all of this first. Leave me be.

  • Have you thought about going into ________ instead?
  • I picked this major for a reason.

    I picked this major for a reason.

  • Oh MNU?  Do you know _______ who goes there too?
  • There are a lot of people here. Odd are no.

    There are a lot of people here. Odds are no.

  • Are you seeing anyone?
  • Yes grandma. I'm in a committed relationship with anxiety.

    Yes grandma. I’m in a committed relationship with anxiety.

  • How do you like living on your own?
  • It has it's ups and down.

    It has it’s ups and down.

  • Have you gained the freshman 15?
  • Mind your own g dang business!

    Mind your own g dang business!

  • How are your classes going?
  • Oh ya they are so much fun and I love every second.

    Oh ya they are so much fun and I love every second.

Renee DeVault


February 22, 2016

Diversity: The Road to a Smarter Church

February 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

Dr. Cindy Peterson, one of my Communication professors, posted an article on our “Decision Making in Small Groups” class Moodle site entitled “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter” published by Scientific American.

Around this same time that she did this, Dr. Dean Flemming talked to my Book of Acts class about diversity in the church.

Learning these two things side by side, along with this being Black History Month, got me thinking…why can’t we combine these two concepts?

The article mentioned above basically states that a good mixture of factors such as race, age, sex, and background bring a variety of different perspectives to a decision making group thus empowering said group to make better decisions.

Another factor in this is simply knowing when you are about to step into a diverse situation. Many people already assume that people different from them are going to have different perspectives. This leads to two things…

  1. Ears ready to hear
    • When we assume those around us have different perspectives we tend to pay attention better than when listening to somebody who we assume will have the same or similar ideas to ourselves
      • This, of course, only really applies when we are willing to listen to those with different perspectives. However, in learning environments, or when among those who are open to other’s ideas, this is very much the case
  2. Better things to Say
    • The article says that when we perceive diversity in our audience those who are teaching will prepare material more fully because they may need to add extra information for those who do not share the same background or perspective so that they can still understand.

I look at these two aspects and immediately I think about our last two chapel speakers.

Reggie Dabbs, an incredibly personable and fun African American man brought a new perspective to MidAmerica students by telling his story and playing pop songs on saxophone.

Rev. Dr. Diedre Brower Latz, a woman from England and the leader of a theological seminary over seas also had a very different perspective and much different teaching style than Reggie.

Both of these speakers were absolutely incredible and I learned a lot from both of them but what I adored was their impact on the school and the way they were able to captivate attention.

I wonder how many MidAmerica students paid more attention because an assumed difference in perspective caused them to re-work how they thought about the experience before coming into chapel.

I also wonder if the speakers benefited from an audience different from themselves. Did they have to explain things in greater detail so I, an American white female who just graduated high school, could understand them?

Jesus calls us to go into every nation and preach the good news. The book of Acts, the beginning of the story of the church in going and fulfilling this, is a progression of the church becoming more and more diverse.

It begins with the disciples and Jews in Jerusalem. At Pentecost, Jews from around the world were present to celebrate in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit came powerfully and they heard the early Christians begin preaching in their languages.

From there Samaritans were included through Phillip’s ministry and pretty much the rest of the book of Acts is Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles and the church expanding far past the Jewish world.

Diversity does not seem to be natural for humans. I’m no expert but it seems as though left to our own devices, we tend to gravitate to those who are like us. Breaking this human barrier and joining together unified under a God who created, and is over all of our differences gives praise and glory to God.

God is really the main thing we all have in common. All humans were created in the image of God regardless of age, race, sex, or background.

Within the church we can learn from diversity by better understanding the problems of other people as well as the ways they worship and find God. It is a witness to the world that Christ overcomes human barriers.

When designing missions and ministries the benefits of diversity would be countless. United in a common goal of reaching the world and growing closer to Christ, different perspectives and experiences can blend uniquely to create something that no single person or group could have created on their own.

Katie Linsey


February 18, 2016

KT’s Class Life

February 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

I’m in a lot of interesting business and marketing classes this semester, so I thought I would just briefly explain what I’m learning in all of them! I promise it’s not boring stuff. 😉

Consumer Behavior: In this marketing class, we are learning about consumer buying behavior any how that affects the way businesses should market to it’s customers. We are currently working on a project where we have to go to a store, evaluate people’s buying behaviors, and give suggestions to the company about how they can improve their marketing strategy. It’s a really interesting and challenging project… but super hands on and totally something that I’ll use in the future.

Typography & Page Design: This is my first graphic design class ever, so it’s been fun getting to learn about how to design different elements. I’ve learned way more than I ever thought I would about fonts and I love it all. We recently had a project where we designed our own font, which was so fun. Right now we are designing menus.

International Business: This class includes being educated about current events and talking about them. I really like that because it’s relevant. It’s things that I will probably have to deal with in the business world one day. We watch interviews with the top business leaders in the world, which is beneficial as well. It’s not a time-consuming class, which is good, and it’s still great knowledge to have.

Sales & Sales Management: Before going into this class, I didn’t think I had any desire to work in sales. I still don’t know how I feel about it, but this class has definitely warmed me up to the idea. There are so many aspects of sales that I didn’t know about. In this class, we are reading a book called “How To Win Friends and Influence People.” It’s a great read that I would highly recommend!

My other two classes are newspaper and my internship, which are fun too!

For all those out there thinking about majoring in business or marketing, I highly recommend it! The professors at MNU are phenomenal and really know what they’re talking about. :)



Mackenzie Theiler


February 15, 2016

The Road to Recovery

February 15, 2016 | By | No Comments

The first few days after surgery, all I wanted to do was sleep, sleep, and more sleep. The pain medication, the doctor provided me, made me sleepy within, 30 minutes. I would say by day three or four, the pain was excruciating. So, I made sure to just stay in bed and keep it elevated. Crutches, are for sure, my new cardio. Within the first couple of days, I knew, I had to get my tolerance built up. I did not start actually crutching a lot, until, day five or six; but my arms sore the first few days. The hardest things for me to do is, crutch up and down stairs, stand on, just, my one leg, and showers. I have fallen twice on the stairs, once, going up and once, coming down. Luckily no one was around. I ended up getting a few little bruises, on my arms. It was quite comical! 😅 It is hard to balance on my one leg, because it, too, has no stability. It has gotten a little easier, but still, quite, difficult. What is showering, anymore? I tried to shower a couple of nights, after my surgery. I ended up getting my whole boot, very, wet. I had to blow dry it. Then, the following day, I went and saw the trainers to have them look at it; just to make sure my stitches and wound did not get wet. Luckily they were dry. So now, I use baby whips, and exfoliating clothes, to wash my body. I wash my hair in the sink. One downfall of living in the dorms is, not all of them have tubs. So, it is difficult to stick my leg out of the standing shower, with no tub.

Today, I went into the training room to have them clean my dressing (bandage). They cleaned where the doctor made his incision and gave me new bandages.  Hopefully within the next few weeks, when it is completely healed, I will be able to get my stitches taken out. For now, one step at a time. I cannot wait to get back out there on the track, but it is extremely important, I do not rush my recovery or this surgery would have been for nothing.

I will continue to keep you all posted.

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

Renee DeVault


February 8, 2016

When School sets your eyes on Jesus

February 8, 2016 | By | One Comment

One thing that I absolutely love about MidAmerica is that my professors will lead devotions before class or tie the material that we are learning that day into faith.

This has really helped me to see how faith can be applied really everywhere in life.

I remember sitting in a Communications Class and discussing how the theory of Cognitive Dissonance relates to the Holy Spirit and personal conviction of sin. It caused me to think about how God uses human psychology at times and how he goes against at other times causing us to know it has to be from him.

Dr. Flemming, my professor for my Book of Acts class, lights a candle on his desk before every class as a reminder that the Holy Spirit is in the room and working on our hearts. It is hard to watch him teach without seeing the candle in the corner of your eye and being reminded. He also takes praise reports and prayer requests before class and we pray together.

Our faculty advisor for the Trailblazer does the same thing. She always asks for prayers and praises and she prays for us before we start every class. She also likes to recite a memory verse to us.

This practice from my professors is not only good for my own thoughts, which I get to return to God more often than I probably would have otherwise, but it is also good to see the faith in action of my professors.

It helps me to relate to them because while I am a nineteen year old undergraduate college student and they have their doctorates and live lives very different from my own, I can relate to them through shared faith. It makes the professors seem less distant or so far above me that I can’t talk to them on a personal level.

Quinn has been focusing a lot on discipleship after learning about stages of development and methods of teaching in his Lifespan Development class and since I happen to talk to him a lot I have been thinking about it too.

I think one of the reasons why I love the professors being able to share devotionals and pray with their classes is that I feel discipled in a way from them. I am learning not only about the subject they are teaching, but how that subject relates to my faith and how I can weave my faith into every aspect of my life. Having mentors like that has been an incredible experience and something I don’t believe MNU students should take lightly.

Mackenzie Theiler


January 19, 2016

It Has Only Been the 1st Week of School

January 19, 2016 | By | No Comments

I love how, on the first day of fall semester, everyone is so excited to start school. Students arrive 3+ days early, setting up their dorm rooms, if they are living on campus. Then fall break comes and everyone is so happy the semester is over! Now, spring semester has began. Everyone is coming back as late as possible. Some students are even arriving on campus a few days after their classes have started. I find this, quite, hilarious.

It has only been the first week back, and I am counting down the days, till spring break. It has only been one week, and I am already bogged down with a ton of homework. I understand the difficulty of my major, but I would not change it for the world. The only thing that is stresses me out more than anything, is the cost to buy text books. The majority of students, only need a text book for that one semester. If they are taking science classes or math, generally, they only need it for 2 to 3 semesters, max. There are tons of sites that you can get books for cheep, and even, rent for very little cost. When I first started off going to college, I did not know anything about these websites. Being the first in my family to go to college, I was completely on my own. So I was this kid…


I spent close to $1,000 just on text books for school. Do not be that kid. I have some sites listed below, that I have used,  to get cheaper text books. Hopefully, this will help you through your semester, when the professor makes you get the text book, even if it is just for “one page.”
(This website shows how much your book costs & compares it to tons of prices and places you can receive your text for less than half the cost.)
(This website is also good if you have questions or need a tutor for one of your tougher classes.)
(This is my favorite website to get my textbooks. Also, if you have Amazon prime, and need your books the next day they are really fast at delivery.)

Renee DeVault


January 18, 2016

The Awkward Dinosaur Tries New Things

January 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

It’s a new semester, a new year, with new classes, a new job, and a time to try new things and start new habits.

This week I have begun all sorts of new things.

First of all I began my new job as Managing Editor and News Editor of the Trailblazer. I have a new office on campus and brand new coworkers.


I got to decorate my office which was awesome and it’s really nice to have a place of my own to get some work done during the day.

I’ve been loving my new classes but probably my favorite so far is Hebrew. I have been missing learning languages. In High School I took French and American Sign Language but neither were nearly as challenging as I predict Hebrew is going to be.

First of all, it reads right to left and the written version has no vowels. I’ve been kind of obsessive about learning the alphabet and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve had to do for a class in a while. It sounds crazy but I love languages and writing. Learning how to write in completely new characters has been awesome.


It’s good to take on new challenges. Isn’t that what college is for? Learning new things and challenging ourselves in order to grow? Hard classes are some of my favorite things. Next to raindrops on roses of course.

Speaking of a challenge, I have been looking for new things to do with friends on campus. Just because we live in Olathe, Kansas and attend a smaller private school doesn’t mean we can’t have wild and crazy times.

So naturally we have taken to starting fires, setting up hammocks, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.


Fire is fun.

Contained and mostly safe fire is probably the best for our uses. It’s a really good winter activity, especially if one has a craving for marshmallows and allergy friendly hot dogs.


Gabe hung a hammock in his suit in Uphaus. It is incredibly fun and added some much needed extra seating to the suit for watching movies, and Youtube, and Netflix, and really anything. It’s like camping…but with air conditioning and a bathroom with running water.


Dungeons and Dragons is awesome. I very much enjoy it much more than I thought that I would. It reminds me of pretend games that I would play when I was a little kid, except for with dice…and five other nerds on the same quest.

Basically Alex wrote a game for us and helped us create characters and we all learned how to play. I’ve played twice now and have absolutely loved it so far. it’s something I never would have tried before but I very much enjoyed it.

Try new things, especially when it’s harmless fun like using fictional characters to explore magical elf scholar caves and fight skeletons.

Another new thing I’m trying this semester is being more intentional about date nights.


There are lots of great places to go on cheapish dates around MNU. Quinn and I went to Black Dog Coffee house in Lenexa on Thursday. They have some awesome specialty latte’s and the atmosphere is just so cute. Quinn and I sat in the bakery next door.

I really want to make sure that in this semester I take care of things that are really important to me. One of those things is definitely Quinn. Setting aside a date night out of our weeks keeps our schedules from getting too busy to make time for each other.

This semester is going to be full of new challenges and new things to enjoy, but I want to always have time in my life for my friends, Quinn, my family, and God.

Oh…and messing with Jordan.

I want to always have time to mess with Jordan.