Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Academics - 2/6 - MNU Blogs

Hailey Kendrick

By

November 3, 2015

What’s a day in college look like?

November 3, 2015 | By | No Comments

college life

It’s November? It’s November!

Time to schedule classes for next semester… already! Upon planning my new schedule, I realized a typical college daily routine will change semester to semester. So I wanted to illustrate to you all what your schedule MIGHT consist of going day to day. (Now let’s remember that I’m taking 16 credit hours and working full time. This might not be what YOU end up doing.)

Morning Routine:

tumblr_ntp8szMHh21s8asgxo1_250

I wake up around 7:30am, as a commuter I leave at 8:20am for my 9am class. Depending on the day, I might eat breakfast, spend a solid amount of time looking through news articles on my phone, and maybe print out a last minute assignment before driving to good Ole Olathe; all the while singing in my car.

Classes:

large

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I have public speaking at 9am, followed by freshman seminar at 10am (which is now over), then old testament at 11am, followed by my lunch break. Most of the time I will go buy an over priced salad from Dewey’s Cafe (inside the library) and eat while I study. Finally, I arrive to composition 1 in a food coma at 1pm. Tuesday and Thursday I have introduction to human communications at 12:15pm and digital media following that. BUT! We can’t forget chapel on those mornings as well. This semester I had 16 credit hours (which is how many you really need to take to graduate in four years, most of the time.)

Afternoons: 99.8% of the time, I have work at 2:30pm. This means I leave comp 1, head straight to my car, and go to work until close. I’ll study during my lunch break typically; and if I don’t have work, I’ll go home and write/edit this vlogs/blogs for you all.

Evenings: During the eventful weeks of the Trailblazer, I’ll spend my evenings in Dobson’s computer lab working on the layout. The evening is the typically study time for me and when I prepare my work for the next days classes.

Night Routine:

 

f37002ee549c1e2ab47936581f0969d82b170f470a77c1040129bdc48e644394_1

Photo credits to Buzzfeed.

If I closed at work, I’ll get home around 9:30pm. I will probably eat, shower, and simply watch Netflix. Not much homework gets done on the evenings that I close…I’ll be honest.

Semesters to come…I’m the Full Time Assistant at work now! That’s right guys, I officially got promoted yesterday. I tried to make my schedule more accommodating for that. MWF I’ll only have one class and they’re at 6pm. Tues-Thurs, I’ll go to class (and chapel) from 8-1 and then I’m home free! I’ll take 1 online class, but still maintain my 16 credit hours.

Being a smaller university it is important to note that we only have X-amount of opportunities to take each class. It’s typically only going to be offered a few times; especially when you get into the upper level classes of your major. For me, this means taking summer classes, and working split shifts at my job, and working hours in a sorta-kinda flexible schedule with it all together. It is totally possible to get in the classes you need, but you need to be determined.

On a side note, this past weekend the ROYALS became WORLD CHAMPS, it was HALLOWEEN, and I had the weekend OFF! So I combined a series of Snapchat stories to give the opportunity of showing the best 10 second moments throughout the weekend…and I’ll post it later tonight!

and with that, I will see you tonight.

Isaac Walker

By

October 30, 2015

What Is The Point Of A Dry Campus?

October 30, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!  This weekend is Halloween for those of you who do not know.  I am not really sure how you possibly could not know that.  But as long as I can remember, Halloween has not been on a weekend for a long time.  So I am sure there are going to be some crazy college Halloween parties.  Parties full of people dressed up in insane costumes pretending to be someone or something else just for the night.   And you know what college parties means.  Alcohol.

20110930_173049_Homebrew_Pumpkin-thumb-625xauto-190246

Now, MNU is a dry campus.  It is against the rules to have alcohol on campus and to even go out and consume alcohol.  The opinions on this are very mixed.  Here I will be discussing the subject.  I will give the opinions of others (who will remain anonymous) and then my own opinion.

MNU obviously holds the same stance on alcohol that the Nazarene church holds.  The Nazarene church does not see alcohol as a bad thing but we should still be abstinent from it because we do not want to cause our brothers and sisters to stumble and fall.  We want to avoid tempting others who may struggle with addiction.  If I were to drink in a public setting and someone with an alcohol problem saw me then decided to drink, would I be responsible for what they do after that point?  The Nazarene church believes that I would.

I totally understand what they are saying too.  We need to be there and take care of others who are struggling with any type of issue.  And even though that is what our school thinks, I have talked with a few other students who don’t necessarily agree with that view on alcohol.  I have heard of people who have gotten caught with alcohol on campus.  They also were the legal age to drink.  The consequences in my opinion outweigh the benefits of drinking here on campus.  You can get a pretty steep fine and even sent to AA in some cases.

But maybe living on a dry campus is not that bad of a thing after all.  When alcohol is stripped from a campus, it is a whole lot easier to keep it looking nice.  There will not be any raging parties that happen on campus.  That in turn keeps that dorms from getting destroyed from them.  There will not be any trash, like beer cans, scattered across the lawns of campus.

lafayette-college-party-aftermath-2eadec203c9cf829

Students also have a better chance of doing well in their classes.  Without alcohol, there are less opportunities for them to be hungover the next day during their classes.  And it takes away one more distraction when homework needs to be done.  I know I do not need anything else to distract me from doing my work!

Being on a dry campus also gives students better opportunities to be more involved with campus life.  Heavy drinking, which is done a lot on wet campuses, really is not the most healthy thing for your body.  It can actually be pretty detrimental to your health.  That makes it a little difficult to participate in sports.

College_soccer_yates_iu_v_tulsa_2004

And now I know that I am making alcohol seem like a terrible thing.  Everyone has their own opinions on it and everyone has experienced it differently, whether it was negatively or in a positive way.  But as long I am on campus, I am going to follow the rules regarding alcohol and I encourage everyone to do the same!  Because, no harm can come from not drinking alcohol.

Until next time friends!

Renee DeVault

By

October 26, 2015

Don’t Go as God for Halloween

October 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

Fall break was this week. I vowed to do two things

  1. To kickstart a revival of my bible reading habit
  2. To get all of my homework done so I could bask in a glorious no-homework, stress-free beginning of my week

Let’s just say God may be happier regarding my fall break reading habits than my professors. I didn’t get much homework done. I read my bible and hung out with my friends doing caffeine induced non-study study parties, mall trips, movie nights, and listening to music.

In communications studies there is a concept called “reframing” in which the words chosen to describe something effect how one perceives it or acts towards it. So instead of saying “I slacked off and hung out with friends and read my bible instead of my textbook”…I’ll say “I spent Fall Break forming meaningful relationships with both humans and the almighty” which causes me to think better of myself than I probably should :)

20151023_231510066_iOS

I don’t know if you have ever had this happen to you, but sometimes when I read the Bible God smacks me in the face with something and no matter where I go it follows me. I believe God has to do this to me because I am stubborn and often refuse to listen to what I need to hear the most.

The phrase of the weekend for me seemed to be “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” This is the beginning of Proverbs 1:7 in the NIV. Other translations substitute knowledge for wisdom but something about the word knowledge stuck with me better. Being a college student I am pretty much a knowledge leech, just frantically soaking up anything I can get from my professors, friends, and random internet literature.

Later in Proverbs 2:1-5 Solomon writes that the fear of the Lord comes from storing up the commands of God in us, attempting to understand them, and earnestly seeking further understanding of them. I had never thought of “the fear of the Lord” that way. But, since I didn’t want to write a paper and I had a perfectly good cup of hot apple cider already made and sitting on my desk, I decided to try it.

In Pentateuch with Dr. Edlin we’re studying the Exodus. I began to think about Moses standing before the God who brought the horrifying plagues on Egypt, who killed the first born of all of their households, who parted the red sea and killed the Egyptian army. I thought about when Moses first came before God and had to remove his shoes. I thought about how, later, the Israelites couldn’t go on the mountain of God because God’s presence would destroy them. And in light of the acts of a terrifying all powerful God, I thought about the commands God gave his people and how immediately God’s people broke those rules.

This led me to think about the law in general, the rules we follow as Christians and I began to realize something about myself. I’m not afraid to sin. I know that sounds odd, but in that moment I realized I’ve never really felt the wrath of God when I’ve sinned. The ground has never swallowed me up, I have never been struck by lightning, my water bottle has never suddenly turned to blood, and I may have been attacked by a frog once but I do not believe that was retribution from God.

The grace of God is incredible. He is the same God today as he was in the Old Testament. My physical, sinful self should not be able to physically exist in the presence of God and yet I know his presence is with me wherever I go.

I take for granted the fact that I can just pray to him. I don’t have to climb a mountain, and almost more importantly for me, I don’t have to be Moses. I don’t have to be born of a Levite or brutally murder petting zoo animals in order to talk to God.

Reading the Old Testament and Proverbs always makes me feel humbled. I am living in the Kingdom of God, a new era of personal relationship with the Father. That is a huge gift. I was very convicted as to the level of my own personal reverence of God. He put me in my place as a puny little human and praying from that perspective feels much more natural to me. I guess the fear of the Lord helped me gain some knowledge about my own shortcomings in that department.

To throw one back to Communications, I had to reframe my concept of myself from “obligated to pray to God” to “somehow miraculously able to talk to God”. My reality didn’t change, but the way I perceived it did and that in turn has effected how I’ve been praying.

So I am most in fear and awe of God while entering this Halloween season. Ghosts and Vampires are not real, but an all powerful being who can destroy whole nations with the words of his mouth is real. I’m just glad in his grace he has let me be on his side.

Two things I’m praying for this week

  1. Appreciation and acknowledgement of the sheer might and power of the God I am attempting to serve
  2. A humble and thankful heart for God’s grace and acknowledgment of my wimpy human status

 

Hailey Kendrick

By

October 21, 2015

Advice for college

October 21, 2015 | By | No Comments

College-Advice

Hey guys! I hope everyone passed midterms! It’s another week down, and this week I’m skipping the video entry to write out my thoughts for y’all! Whaaaaaat :)

So college has been one heck of an adventure so far and we’re only three months in. I wanted to provide future, and current students, with some helpful advice -academic and otherwise- that will help you get through your first year and years to come. So without further ado, here are some lessons that might last a lifetime.

  1. Create new networks! Make connections with friends, reach out to new people…don’t be afraid! By doing this you can meet so many new people and also build excellent mentors for your professional life.
  2. Figure out if you like coffee; and if you do, get GOOD at making it!
  3. Understand that you can take action! Want to make a new club? Want to improve your school or community? You, as a young adult, have that power; take it and run with it.
  4. Take advantage of your professors extra credit assignments and make appointments with them when you have questions. This could make or break your GPA.
  5. Just because you can skip class and get your notes online, doesn’t mean that you should. (Personally, I broke down how much I’m paying -about $36 per class, per day- who wants to lose that money?)
  6. Get involved. Get an internship. Get a job. Require as much experience as you can in what you want to do to benefit your future.
  7. Highlighters and index cards are your new best friends.
  8. Straight A’s aren’t what is most important. Remember my last vlog? I mentioned that you’re in college to earn an education for you, not an A for your professor.
  9. Find a work-life balance. It is NOT easy, but it is important.
  10. Accept the fact that your student ID photo is going to be awful. Join the club, buddy.
  11. Who’s your academic advisor? Figure that out, quickly.
  12. Find the best place for you to study. Set yourself up for success, not failure. My place is upstairs in the library. It’s quiet and allows me to focus.
  13. Learn how to do your own laundry. Nobody wants the “Mom, what’s the difference between darks and whites?” phone call.
  14. Know the dining hall hours like the back of your hand. Let’s be honest, we all love food.
  15. Call your parents, often. This will help prevent homesickness and more importantly, that relationship is changing, you need to work hard at maintaining it and all it’s new glory.
  16. You can eat whatever you want now! But it doesn’t mean you should have ice cream for breakfast.
  17. Be studious… and then be spontaneous.
  18. Purchase a decent hard drive. Save your files often, and ALWAYS double save your papers/projects.
  19. As important as going home is and maintaining ties with people you love, don’t let that stop you from building new relationships on campus every now and then.
  20. Expect to grow and change. I promise it’s okay. Scary, but okay.

And with that, I will see you on Tuesday.

Renee DeVault

By

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

By

October 18, 2015

▿ Recognize the Good in Your Life ▿

October 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

#GRATITUDE

“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

Div Tosinglo

By

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.

Katie Linsey

By

October 13, 2015

9 Apps Every College Student Should Have

October 13, 2015 | By | One Comment

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.

quizlet

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!

cnnlogo

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.

meme

3. Meme Generator

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

calenmob

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).

easybib

5. EasyBib

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

dictionary.com

6. Dictionary.com

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

ted

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.

duolingo_logo

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.

safetrek

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!

-KT

(Photos courtesy of Apple.com)

Renee DeVault

By

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

20151009_210700770_iOS 20151009_210706977_iOS

20151009_211338141_iOS 20151009_211340962_iOS 20151009_211349268_iOS 20151009_211359105_iOS 20151009_211405484_iOS

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.

Silence.

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.

 

Isaac Walker

By

October 9, 2015

5 Signs You Transferred From A Community College

October 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

Being a transfer student gives me a whole new perspective on things, here at MNU.  I’m a new student, but at the same time I have been in college for two years!  Here are just a few things I have noticed about being a transfer student from a community college.

 

  1. You walk around with your headphones in all the time.

People at community college aren’t the most social.  Almost everyone there walks around with headphones in and alone.  It’s almost a social taboo to have a conversation with someone else in the hall.

headphones

2.   You do not mind eating alone in the cafeteria.

It is an everyday, normal thing to eat alone at community college.  It isn’t the easiest place to make friends honestly.  It also doesn’t help when everyone looks like they want to eat alone too.

3.    You are not use to paying this much for college…

Community college is significantly less compared to every other college really.  I wont give you the exact numbers I had to pay, but I will say I did not have to take out a loan for community college…I am not use to having no money!

poor

4.    You don’t mind having to walk everywhere.

When attending community college, I had to drive 25 minutes from my house to school everyday.  Once there, I would have to park extremely far away from the actual campus because it is so large.  So now, even walking from Colony to Dobson isn’t that bad!

5.    Not knowing what year you actually are.

I get asked all the time what year I am and I never know how to answer.  I give a different answer every single time I’m asked.   I am as old as a junior, I am on the first year class list, and I voted for homecoming as a sophomore.  So that is how I answer that question now.

6. (Bonus)     Living with your best friends is an amazing thing!

I am extremely lucky that some of the best people I know live here and go to school here!  While I was going to community college, I still lived at home.  Now that was not necessarily a bad thing, I would much have rather lived on campus with all my friends!

FRIENDS -- Season 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

To sum up, I love it here and there is no place I’d rather be!

Until next time friends.