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Haley Raydo

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March 15, 2015

“The God Who Sees Me”

March 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

I spoke in class chapel last week and a lot of people had asked that I share what I talked about.  So if you didn’t get to hear it, here you go!  This has something that has been on my heart the last several weeks and I am glad it spoke to so many:

I don’t like to ask for help. I will try to find places on my own first before looking it up on my GPS. I never asked my parents or teachers for help in school. I think there is a part of me that really likes being independent and self-sufficient.

I think as humans our relationship with how we view and interact with God is a conflicting battle between two things. Reverence and intimacy. It’s either we grew up seeing God as close by and a comforter but sometimes forget to see Him as the creator of the universe. We forget about the wonderment and amazement. If we aren’t careful we may even make Him and our relationship like one we can relate to (so something of this earth). Than there are some of us who were taught (whether as a child or recently) that God was far away. He was this God who is out doing big things and doesn’t have time for our little things.

I think the best relationships with God have and find a balance between the two. Because its true that God is a big and amazing God, but he also cares about the small things. For me I struggled with God caring about the small things. I felt like I had this intimate relationship with God, but I felt that He was too big to care about the small things in my life. When I have a little fever, or I am beyond exhausted, if I needed to receive a particular grade, or I was really hungry and didn’t have much to eat for dinner. Those are seemingly day-to-day basic and simple things. Than there were a little bigger things like when I was upset and hurt by something had told me, or other broken relationships, a loss of a loved one, or the stage and feeling of helplessness. I always thought God was too big to care or see me and what I was going through.

When I was heart broken I would think, “ok there are 27 million people enslaved around the world, millions of kids are starving to death, I live in such great wealth and blessing. I shouldn’t feel this way, or more that I feel this way but God doesn’t care as much because He has bigger things to do.” Although I don’t necessarily believe that that kind of thinking doesn’t have a place- I definitely thinks it gives perspective and humility- but I think we underestimate God and his character and abilities. We place a limit on who He is and His power.  When we think we will be fine and can handle it, that it is not as big of a deal as some other people’s issues, we rely on ourselves and underestimate God.

One of my favorite stories is the story of Hagar. So we are going to read it Genesis chapter 16

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant
    and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,[a]
    for the Lord has heard of your misery.

12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
    his hand will be against everyone
    and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
    toward[b] all his brothers.”

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her:“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.”

Part of me reading this story makes me angry. How could Hagar be mistreated like that? But I think we get to see a glimpse of a sweet side of God. I don’t have all the answers of why there is evil and why bad things happen. But God saw Hagar. He went out and found her, increased her blessings. Hagar responds with something so profound and says, “You are the God who sees me.” He sees us. Hagar was a slave, a minor character in the story of Abram later known as Abraham. Abraham! I mean the father of the Israelites. The guy who has the most insane faith- He almost killed his only son because He so trusted God. This Abraham we teach in Bible stories. Hagar isn’t like an Abraham. But God sees her. He saw her tears and her pain.

The God of the Universe sees your pain, he sees your dreams, he sees your daily simple needs and HE CARES.  He knows us and our dreams.  And he CARES.  How much more could God do in our lives than us trying to do it ourselves?  We do ourselves disservice when we think we can figure it out on our home.  Why figure it out ourselves when the God who knows all things wants to be a part of it? What a God what a love.

If you aren’t convinced about a big God that cares and includes us in His story I wrote down some times in the Bible this was true:

  1. Jesus fed the thousands. (He definitely didn’t have to)
  2. God saved Israel over and over and over again. He saw them whining in the wilderness and provided for them every time.
  3. In Matthew 6 He talks about how he feeds the birds, “How much more does he care for us?”
  4. Genealogies- lists out all the people- doesn’t leave anyone out.
  5. Israel asks for a king, God gives them a king.
  6. Jesus reaches out to tax collectors
  7. God sends angels to tell shepherds to tell of Jesus’ birth (could have told a nobler group)

There are so many more examples. Moses and Joseph. I just think it is so cool we have such a big God that 1. Cares about the little things in our lives 2. So desires to include us in His story.  However we have to keep praying and asking for God.  We have to take the first steps and be proactive.

So I hope I talked to at least a couple of you today. I know it is a message for myself as well. A couple things I want you to take away is

  1. Start seeing God in a different way. Whether that be with more reverence or if you need to start seeing God as a God who cares. He is both, don’t forsake one for the other.
  2. A mentor of mine once told me “God moves when we pray because He wants us to know that it is Him at work, so His glory can be shown.” If you are hurt and broken, or tired and frustrated, or anxious and scared, or maybe everything is good… give it to Him in prayer.
  3. Maybe you don’t have a relationship with Him, you never wanted one or maybe you didn’t know much about God and never thought anything of it. I might ask if you feel so bold and up for a challenge to read the Word, talk with someone and see if it will change your life. I’ve lived life with God and I’ve lived life without Him (the good, the bad) and I will tell you there is nothing like Him. He is worth it all. A God that is so big yet cares so much, is worth living radically. Life with Him has been anything but boring. So see what learning about Him will do.

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Katie Linsey

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November 6, 2014

Meet Siska

November 6, 2014 | By | One Comment

Hi, friends! During Homecoming week, I decided to sponsor a child through Compassion International, which was one of the best decisions I could have made, but also a very unexpected decision.

As a Christ follower who grew up going to lots of Christian concerts, I’ve heard the “sponsor a child tonight” speech countless times. Every time, I would wish that I could, but never did because I didn’t have the money and I thought I was too young.

As a member of Rend Collective eased into yet another “sponsor a child tonight” speech at the concert Friday night, I reached for my phone and planned to tune out the entire thing. I thought I knew exactly what he was going to say, and I also thought I knew exactly what my answer was going to be… “no.”

It’s not that I didn’t want to sponsor a child, because I’ve always thought it would be a cool idea, I just didn’t think I was qualified to. As a college student with no steady paycheck, I tried to tell myself that my financial state was reason enough to decline this invitation to change someone’s life. As I half-listened to the speech that night, I felt my heartstrings being pulled – really hard. I thought I was hearing God tell me to sponsor a child, but I wasn’t totally sure that it was Him.

As the speech came to a close, the guy from Rend Collective asked everyone who was interested to raise their hands, and Compassion International volunteers would come around and give us a child packet.

As I raised my hand, I told God, “Alright, if you’re truly telling me to sponsor a child, then give me a really cute little girl that I can’t say no to.” I was also praying super hard that He would provide the funds for me to do this, because I was nearly positive He was calling me to sponsor a child (and I was scared that I couldn’t do it).

When I received my packet, I opened it up to find the most beautiful little girl. Her name is Siska and she’s from Indonesia. She loves church activities, singing, art, and playing with dolls. And I love her.

Once I saw her, deciding to sponsor Siska was an easy decision to make. I was so excited to sign up and I wasn’t even worried about the financial aspect of it. I knew that I wanted to help this girl.

My friend, Brandon, and I ended up sponsoring her together. I’m really stoked to start this journey and write her tons of letters. I’m already thinking about what to get her for Christmas… it’s so fun! I can’t wait to get to know her and be a part of her life.

This Tuesday in chapel, a representative from Compassion International came and spoke. I couldn’t help but smile the whole time, knowing that other MNU students were hearing about the opportunity that I had the previous week. When service was over, I saw lots of MNU students crowded around the Compassion International table. My heart smiled super big.

Sponsoring a child is a huge decision, and not one to be taken lightly, but it’s definitely rewarding. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on Siska!

(If you want to learn more about Compassion International, visit www.compassion.com)

-KT

Haley Raydo

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February 23, 2014

BIG Dreams from a BIG God

February 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

So… This week was pretty crazy!  It was Spiritual Deepening week, the Olympics were in full swing, and this crazy Kansas weather has been through practically 4 seasons in a week!  With plenty of things to do this week, I had kind of put off thinking about what I was going to write about.  Reflecting back I tried to come up with a common theme of the different events of the week, and one that came to mind was BIG DREAMS.

Now if you know me, I am a big dreamer.  I am always dreaming of the future and different plans.  But this week I have really felt God challenge me in a different way.  One week a semester we have Spiritual Deepening week where an invited speaker comes and speaks at various chapels.  There are the regular Tuesday/Thursday chapels, and then they add Sunday-Thursday night plus a Wednesday morning for extra time to listen to the speaker. For Spiritual Deepening week this semester we had a guy named Scott Daniels come in.  Monday night Scott shared about us serving a BIG God, that we should surround ourselves with BIG people, so we can do BIG things.

This really challenged me.  It challenged me to see the world in a different way, because our God is BIG and He wants to use ME and YOU in BIG ways!  Can I stress the word BIG enough? 😉 Now that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about the little things, but it does mean that we need to allow our BIG God use us to do BIGGER dreams than what we can possibly think of.

In correlation with that message, I have been watching the Olympics almost every night this week. Watching these athletes compete was so exciting!  These people spend most of their lives training to get a chance to make the team, or for some to get on that podium.  Imagine these people so many years ago explaining to their parents the dreams they had to be on the Olympic team, and to hear their country’s national anthem up on the podium.  Their parents probably thought they were crazy!  I mean, the OLYMPICS?! That’s a BIG dream!

U.S. Gold medalists for ice dancing, Meryl Davis and Charlie White!  I was rather excited to see them with gold.

U.S. Gold medalists for ice dancing, Meryl Davis and Charlie White!  I was rather excited to see them with gold.

But I think that is what is so cool about watching these events.  These athletes had and have big dreams, and they put in all they can to accomplish these dreams.  Reflecting on this gave me a chilling question… What would this world and the kingdom of God look like if Christians had the mindset of Olympic athletes to achieve BIG GODLY dreams?  WOW

So I am now praying that God would not let me see Him as a little God, but as a God who has BIG plans and BIG dreams for me and for all of us.  So maybe this can be a good challenge for you as well!  Where are you in life? High school?  God has BIG dreams and plans for you right where you are at.  College? God has BIG dreams and plans for you right where you are at.  And so on..

I encourage you to think BIGGER!

Quick, random side not for you… a couple of guys (whose names I do not know) built Olaf from Frozen!  Props to you guys!

IMG_2662

Oh and photo cred for the chapel picture goes to the awesome David Luna! :)

Anyways….

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Heather Engle

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November 25, 2013

I’ve been learning lately…

November 25, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello Blog world. :]

This week’s blog is going to be a little different from what I usually do. God has definitely taught me some stuff that I would like to share with you guys.

Something pretty exciting happened to me this weekend! It may not seem like a huge deal to some, but I had the chance to lead worship on Sunday morning for a church in Basehor, Kansas! This was actually the first time I have ever gotten to decide who was on the team, select the songs, and lead each of the songs that we played. Not that leading worship at this church was about me and my experience AT ALL, but it was overall just a wonderful opportunity!

Village Community Church was where we went to lead worship. I took a team of people from MNU that were so great to sacrifice their time to lead worship with me. I know I am definitely not the best worship leader in the world, but God has been so very generous in giving me many opportunities to stretch the talents and gifts He has given me. There is still so much to learn, but if there was one thing I have learned since I’ve been here at MNU, it’s that It is SO not about me.

 Even if I try my hardest to be the best at whatever it may be, I know it won’t be perfect. It may be close, or even way far off. I am only human, but God is ALL powerful, ALL knowing, and ALL merciful.

And I am SO thankful for that! He knows exactly what He is doing. To think that He would use someone like me to lead people into the presence of God is a miracle in itself. And when I said He knows exactly what He is doing, I really mean it. He knew that I was meant to come to MNU.

I don’t know how else I would have been able to experience the things that I am right now if it wasn’t for this college. I am beyond blessed and I can’t even describe to you how mind blown I have been by the chances I’ve had to be able to do what God has called me to do. It is truly insane to think about. God also knows exactly what I’m going through right this second. And even in my brokenness, or whatever I may be going through, despite the challenges that can come in this life, He can still use me. He is still good.

His love is unconditional. It does not depend solely on my circumstances. I really hope you take this in personally for yourself too, because He knows EXACTLY what is going on in your life, right this second, and He has walked through everything with you. Every single thing that you have been through, He has been there. :] How awesome is that?!

So this is what’s been laid on my heart this weekend, and I wanted to share this with you guys because I think it really captures what MNU is all about. This school has blessed my life tremendously in a way that I will never forget.

Rest in His truth today.

I promise you won’t regret it. :]

“It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For scripture says to Pharaoh: I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” –Romans 9:16, 17

-Heather Rose :]

Mario Flores

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November 23, 2013

MNU Vball beat Baker! Catching Fire was pretty leegit & Jamie Furnas You’re Amazing

November 23, 2013 | By | No Comments

So last week you got to see our MNU Soccer team’s video, here’s our Volleyball team’s video:

Now’s here are the highlights from the HAAC tournament Final versus Baker: If you see in the first few seconds I guy with curly hair and dancing with crazy legs, that’s Luke Letsinger one of our Student Chaplains. Then to the side am I with my friend Nathan in red pants and a beanie:

I forgot to mention that Wednesday at Kairos (the Wednesday evening chapel for college students at College Church of the Nazarene) we helped package about 160 Thanksgiving meals-made possible by the generosity of the people at College Church of the Nazarene.

Here are some of the typical Thanksgiving groceries minus the turkey!

Here are some of the typical Thanksgiving groceries minus the turkey!

 

Here was the semi crate holding space (whatever it's called: truck load?) of Turkeys!!

Here was the semi crate holding space (whatever it’s called: truck load?) of Turkeys!!

Here's a photo of most of the people that served Wednesday night!

Here’s a photo of most of the people that served Wednesday night!

 

Philosophy Class is one of my faves:

 

Some of my friends in Philosophy class. #beaniesfuhdayz

Some of my friends in Philosophy class from left to right: Phillip Prado, Chelsea Amos, and Jordan Case. #beaniesfuhdayz

After watching the Hunger Games: Catching Fire…..

CATCHING-FIRE_-OR-SOMETHING_

This is from the opening scene of the flick

This is from the opening scene of the flick

…… My friend and resident on my hall, Aaron Smith did something I applauded him for:

Aaron seized the opportunity to take home some popcorn from the movie theater!

Aaron seized the opportunity to take home some popcorn from the movie theater! Also in this photo montage is another good friend of mine Charles Feller!

And here’s a photo of Her:

Since we don't have any pics together, I figured  using her current profile pic would be okay.

Since we don’t have any pics together, I figured using her current profile pic would be okay :D

She is madly in love with Jesus, intelligent and witty, funny and silly, confident yet humble, and she is obviously beautiful: I’m clearly a SPOILEDLY blessed man.

 

 

 

 

Allegra Vieux

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November 13, 2013

Mission Impossible

November 13, 2013 | By | 4 Comments

Hello Blog World.

This video is part of the worship service at my church on Sunday. Funny story about that.

So I guess you could say I’m the type of person that likes new things. I like trying/starting new things, and it doesn’t take much for me to get really EXCITED. I enjoy looking for new music, activities, playing new games, going new places, etc. And on the contrary, I get really bored with the same things over and over. I get bored easily and withdraw most often. I lose interest and move on to something… well.. new.

Last year in chapel, a guy came and spoke about Moses and his staff. He talked about how Moses, somewhere along the lines, acquired his staff, and no matter what situation Moses was in, God used the staff to help him lead the Israelites. He related the staff to our degrees. The main idea was that we could all be church planters regardless of our degrees, and we could all go into ministry and yada yada.

Then he said the words “We’ll have free pizza in the Tipping Point tonight and talk more about…” and I pretty much didn’t listen after that because I was so there. (in addition to new things, I really like free things.)

So I go to this meeting to hear about what the church planting process looks like from the ground up, because it has always interested me. Side note-I helped with a church plant on the plaza not too long ago, and it was really cool to see it come together. We met in the movie theater to attract people who were looking for a more casual worship experience and hopefully bring in some who weren’t comfortable walking into a church building. So I’m at this meeting enjoying new people and eating pizza that I didn’t pay for, and then like 5 guys who were all planting churches in the area talked about their vision for their individual plants, and proceeded to try and recruit us MNU students to help them out.

Okay so I’ll admit that I wasn’t super interested. I had just gotten settled into a church in Olathe and was making connections and really felt like I was in the right place. Our worship was awesome, our preaching was out of this world, and people were going down to the altar in masses of like 17 every week. I was cool with it. Also, it was a big congregation so I didn’t really have to be involved, although I was going to Bible study and giving and all that jazz. The point of this is, as soon as we were dismissed I tried to bolt out of that place because I didn’t want to lose my life to promoting a new church especially knowing how much school work I had to do.

Then, to my dismay, this dude Jonathan stopped me and started asking me about my life.

If you don’t know me, I’m a talker. and because I like meeting new people and new things, I became a little intrigued.  He said, “My hope is that we’ll be meeting in the movie theater in Overland Park at 135th and Antioch.” 2 things about this jumped out: 1. My Aunt and Uncle live 10 blocks north of that theater and 2. I helped plant a church once in a movie theater. So he gave me his business card, told me to email him because he wanted to talk about marketing ideas with me. So I gave him a fake smile and nod and told him I’d be in touch. he he he

Yeah okay so he somehow remembered my name and found me because I got an email from a professor asking if it was okay for him to give my email to this guy. Dang. I was like, “okay yeah I guess…”

So then after approximately 16 emails (I made it nearly impossible for him to get a hold of me,) I finally responded and he took me to Starbucks. We talked about social media and analytical junk that I won’t bore you with, then he asked me to meet every week. I was like, uhhh peace out. (Actually I probably went one or two more times for the free Starbucks and then told him I was busy.)

Since we’re being honest, I was getting a little interested, but not enough to exert much effort. Well this Jonathan dude exerted a lot of effort and sent me an email for kick-off Sunday with the order of service and a list of who was working where.

and….

there…

was…

my…

name.

I was like, dang. This poor guy doesn’t get it. I guess I’ll show up this week, help with Audio/Visual, and then let him down gently. Because at least this way, I can say I tried and it just wasn’t for me.

So 9 months later I still go to this church and it’s not because I don’t have the heart to tell this guy that I’m not interested. I guess you could say I fell in love? It ended up that this church was like, designed for me. I still help with A/V and want to be even more involved. Turns out, this Jonathan guy can bring the word like nobody’s business. Then there’s Hurley and Tim: They are real musicians who have real musician friends who they bring with them to lead worship every week. Translation: It’s always different! This week, Hurls brought her rapper friend Rye-On and he free-styled  during the set. It was incredible.

So in the spirit of new and free, I have to give a shameless plug for Tim Cone, who also leads us in worship at Mission Church.

Picture 1 Picture 2

If you go to spacesuitmusic.com you get his new album for free. I don’t promote things that suck, so you should probably just go do it. It’s amazing and I’ve had it on repeat all day. I’ll make it even easier for you: Follow this link! NEW FREE MUSIC FROM TIM CONE

aaaaaanndd if you’re ever in the area, I would definitely recommend Mission Church KC. Never a dull moment!

Over and Outtt!

 

Joey Alligier

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April 29, 2013

Such a Fine Teacher

April 29, 2013 | By | No Comments

Grandpa MNU taught many classes,
many classes taught Grandpa MNU
I am one of them and you may be to
So let’s just talk about spirituality.

MNU is about faith, community, and service. Not just the students, but the professors also aim for this. One of the most open, vulnerable, understanding professors is a man that has been through SO MUCH and is willing to talk to you about life. I even have a meeting set up to talk to him! This guys has been here since the beginning! He has taught numerous classes, as far as I know, all around our faith.

One of my favorite all around professors, thus far, at MNU would be Dr. Larry Fine. I currently have his Christian Beliefs class and MAN is it a lot to take in after chapel at 11 am. He is consistently challenging us with reading material, notes, and soooo many hypothetical situations! We have discussed sin,morality, the Holy Spirit and yes, even sex. His approach is so smooth, yet loving! He wants us to voice our opinions and he respectfully, which is key, gives his. He always follows with his ideas after the hypothetical situations so it gives us the chance to know what we know and not be influenced. I LOVE IT! My mind has been blown so many times in there and I love it.

It’s just amazing to see his firm, yet open faith. Professors like him make this place one of the most amazing places to be. They set the standard for community and faith development. I am proud to be a Pioneer when gauging the influence they have over so many influence-able lives!

The best part? He’s only one of the many amazing faculty members ready to just do life with us!

Keep on and Keep God,
Joey

Kelsey Cranford

By

October 3, 2012

The hands. The feet.

October 3, 2012 | By | One Comment

This morning we had the privilege of listening to Cris Zimmermann speak about his ministry in Frankfurt, Germany. This young pastor began sharing with us a book he has been reading as of late called God is Not a Christian written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In this book the Archbishop shares of a crucifix he found in a church in which Jesus had no arms or legs. The meaning behind it was that, as the church, we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. That, as his disciples, we are to be the answer to the world’s begging question, “Where is God?”

As he began to speak he commanded my respect. He spoke with no words of eloquence or brilliance. He wasn’t beaming with charisma in which everyone was drawn to him. Nor did he command attention because of his long list of credentials or accomplishments. Rather, he commanded my respect because of his simple perusal of making this man on a cross relevant to our current world.

It all began with a group of 12 college students in Frankfurt. Together with Zimmermann, they began to brainstorm ideas on how they could be the hands and feet of Jesus in their own city. A specific pub was brought to their attention where a consistent community of people gathered regularly, not just to have a drink, but also to simply be together. Zimmermann and the students began to integrate themselves into this community, and after collaborating with the owner, began raising money with them to build a well in Africa. The pub family included, they began reaching out to the homeless community in the area as well and started establishing relationships with them. From there, other pubs began to get involved and the influence of the once small group began to grow and grow, involving people of all kinds.

It’s easy to look at the task ahead and be intimidated. To allow the fear that so easily creeps in to keep us from even taking a step. We become so taken back by our responsibility to be truth to the world that we can’t even be truth to the few people surrounding us. The fathers of the faith, the very apostles who walked on the ground that Jesus did, had to start somewhere. At some point, they had to acknowledge that they didn’t have what it takes to be his heirs to the kingdom. Yet, with the breath of Christ within us, we are given the means to be the truth, the salt, the light, that is so very necessary to this world. There is no better time than now to begin to get ourselves out of the way so that this purpose can be fulfilled in our lives.  May we begin to allow Jesus take root in our daily interactions with people and may we find the courage to take the baby steps that are necessary for any sort of change to occur. As Dorothy Day puts it, “People say, ‘What is the sense of our small effort?’ They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There’s too much work to do.”