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Aaron Merrell

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November 22, 2014

An MNU/KC/Santa Ricky Christmas

November 22, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey all!

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, and to me, that means it’s basically Christmas!

To prepare for this Christmas in Kansas City, I’ve already purchased my Santa Hat, and my friends and I have christened my friend Rico McKay and “Santa Ricky.” (He even has his own parody twitter account, @RealSantaRicky)

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So, for this blog, I’m going to analyze the Kansas City Christmas Experience, with photos of Santa Ricky and his merry pals peppered in.

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Every Kansas City Christmas experience must include several trips to see the plaza lights, including the night of Thanksgiving, when the lights that adorn the Country Club Plaza are finally turned on.  They stay on through New Year’s, and they truly mark the beginning of the Christmas season in Kansas City.

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Next, we move on to Christmas Light tours.  I particularly like to take my friends to the homes around Ward Parkway and 63d Street in Kansas City, MO and Mission Hills, KS.  These professionally decorated homes are already unique and awesome to look at, and the lights make them even more spectacular.

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After a drive around those neighborhoods, my other favorite Christmas spot in Kansas City is the Ice Terrace at Crown Center.  Ice skating here is fun, (even though I have to re-learn how to skate every single time) and an extremely good time, and I definitely recommend it as well.

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These are just a few spots of so many more around the city, and I hope you’re able to come to MNU so you can experience them and people like Santa Ricky yourself!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving breaks, see you in a week!

 

Aaron

Aaron Merrell

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November 15, 2014

Playlists and People

November 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

What’s up everybody? Hope everyone had a great week!

So tonight I went to a Hunter Hayes concert, and it was SO good. The Railers and Dan+Shay opened for him, and they were both fantastic, even though I had never heard of The Railers before. I know these three don’t fit some people’s definition of country music (it obv has to have something about cars and an unintelligible accent duh) but they were about as country as it typically gets for me.

See, I don’t really get to deep into any genre of music, I just like a little of everything. Imagine some Love on Top followed by some Turning Tables and maybe a little Bad Blood and that’s my typical playlist.

I think my taste in music and my time living overseas has been what helps me understand people. Just like music artist and their genres have different influences, people have all sorts of different backgrounds.

We can’t begin to try to understand someone until we know where they come from, what they’ve been through, and where they’re going (and maybe even what kind of music they listen to).

So, the moral of the story is rock it to whatever you wanna listen to, no one is forcing you to listen to something else. But, at least give something else and someone else a chance.

You might be pleasantly surprised!
Have an awesome week!

-Aaron

P.S. This week’s episode of Scandal was so good.

Samantha Moore

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November 4, 2014

Be Blessed!

November 4, 2014 | By | No Comments

 

Ashlea’s Senior day! My roommate who plays soccer played in her last home soccer game of the season Saturday! ash senior day

It was also French’s senior day! French is obviously from France and I got to walk with him for his senior day since his parents live in France. He has been one of my best friends for four years now and is aways making me laugh and making me smile. He is one of the funniest guys I know and is one of my best friends!

french senior day

When Sonic gives away .50 cent corn dogs on Halloween you obviously have to get one. This is Marissa! She was my roommate my Freshman and Sophomore year and we have been great friends since then. She is always here for me and we are always doing something fun! She is a fellow Psych major!

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This is Lauren and my beautiful engaged sister. We had a birthday party on Saturday for my friend Taylor! These two girls make me laugh.

erica lauren Okay I had to post a picture of my BEST FRIEND Remi aka my Corgi. She was a bumble bee for halloween so this is a picture of her in her costume on Halloween night! Isn’t she just the cutest.

halloweenComment and I would love to chat with you guys!!

Aaron Merrell

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November 1, 2014

Future Fears

November 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

Trusting everyone has had a fantastic week, and I hoping you’re all enjoying your weekend.  My weekend consists of hanging with friends for Halloween, spending some time at home, and performing with MNU Choirs tomorrow at 3:30!

This week, my brother gave me a great topic to think about: the future.

The future used to terrify me more than anything.  I used to think about my college plans, then about real life and grad school, and it would all get me terribly stressed out. Picking a school, picking a major, and from there a career, and where I wanted to go with that career eventually, and then about starting a family are unavoidable topics and they are every important to think about.  Though it is imperative that we remember to discuss these topics, we also need to remember that what’s going on currently in our lives is also a priority.

In order to train myself not to panic about the future, who would leave my life and who would enter, I had to stop placing so much urgency on those decisions.  Like I said, we need to make the decisions, but we won’t make the right choice unless we slow down and consider everything separately.  After we have considered this, we can think about the future and what the decision is going to mean for our future lives and families.

The future has become an exciting place for me rather than a scary one.  Just by calming down and taking a step back once in a while, I have realized how excited I am to graduate and start working, wherever I happen to move, whatever I happen to do, and whoever I happen to be with.  I know that if I put my faith and trust in Him, I will make the right decisions and follow his will, as I constantly work to make his will my will.

 

It’s all a process, but it’s not too much of a difficult one. Just continue to pray about choices, the future and ask God to make his plan clear to you!  You can find so much truth and evidence of His faithfulness to your present, which was once your future. just by studying his word, something that takes nearly no time to do every day.

 

Praying everyone has a blessed rest of your weekend and next week!

See you soon!

-Aaron.

Katie Linsey

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October 30, 2014

Homecoming Week

October 30, 2014 | By | One Comment

Homecoming week was full of fun, excitement, and adventure! Watch this video to see many of the events that took place. (Stick around until the end for a message from a few of our past bloggers, Joey and Mario.)

Enjoy!

-KT

Aaron Merrell

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October 26, 2014

Good Nights

October 26, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey everyone!

 

Hope you had a stellar week! I’ve been helping out with a few of the homecoming events, which has been SO much fun.  A lot of the events, and this evening, got me thinking about the fact that everything fun seems to happen at night: most of this week’s events, stargazing with awesome friends tonight, city events like the plaza lights. I could go on and on.

 

I have a mindset that business gets done during the day, and all the fun happens in the evening/at night.  Maybe I shouldn’t feel that way, and there is a lot of fun to be had during the day, but I am at my happiest at night-time.  Something about the darkness, or maybe it’s the stress of the day coming to an end, brings conversations, jokes, and just being with people to a different level.  Some people get crazy as they get tired, others grumpy, and still others just laugh, but it is so much easier to get to know people as the day comes to a close, though perhaps we feel this way because we can dwell on these things as we sleep afterward?

 

I’m not sure what brought this up, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it recently.  It seems like ties are made and severed after nightfall: making new friends, maybe losing some that made you emotionally unhealthy.  But, sometimes it’s just trying to figure out what’s still open late in Olathe, and packing up the car to head to McDonald’s or Waffle House, or just to drive because it’s free (kinda).

 

These experiences are something you can’t get back, hours well spent, so I encourage you to stay up late once in a while, study all day so you can stay up late, and just be with people.

 

That’s all I’ve got for this week, I hope you all are blessed as you live your lives this week, and I’ll see you soon!

-Aaron

 

Katie Linsey

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October 23, 2014

What is love? (Baby don’t hurt me)

October 23, 2014 | By | One Comment

I’ve learned a lot in my classes here at MNU. However, I think I’ve learned even more outside of the classroom. Between countless chapel services, small groups, and the communal living at MNU, God has taught me more than I ever thought possible. One thing God has taught me these past few weeks is what it means to love someone.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, love is “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.”

While I partly agree with that definition, I think it’s much more than that. While having breakfast with my wise friend JD Andrews this week, she explained to me how she views love as a choice. At first, I wasn’t sure if I completely agreed with her, but the more she talked about her decision to love people, it came together in my mind.

John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.”

So, what if we don’t feel a “strong or constant affection” for someone? Well, Jesus still wants us to love them the way He loves us. That’s why we have to choose to love some people.

I’m extremely grateful that Jesus calls us to love people with more than just our feelings. It’s pretty scary how quickly and drastically emotions can change in a split second. One day you may want to hang out with your best friend all the time, and then the next day you find that everything she does annoys you. One day you may be attracted to someone, and then the next day maybe you aren’t for whatever reason. Love has to be more than feelings and attractions because those things aren’t always reliable. We are not called to act on our feelings toward someone; we’re called to act in obedience to the commandment to “love one another.”

I don’t know all there is to know about this whole “love” thing (and I never will), but I do know one thing…

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”        1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Wow. That sounds like a lot more than a feeling or an attraction.

As I continue life here at MNU, I pray daily that Jesus will help me choose to love people like He does. When we love people with a love like that, we can start to better understand the unconditional love that Jesus has for us.

So, there you have it… one of the many lessons that Jesus has been teaching me during my time at MNU. I can’t wait to share more with you in the weeks to come! Now go love some people!

-KT

Fellowship with these friends has been such a joy. We have learned so much and grown so much together.

Haley Raydo

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October 20, 2014

Why You Should Go to (School In) Kansas City

October 20, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

Nice of you to stop by– and can I say this semester has flown by!  We now only have 7 weeks left of this fall semester…. (mind-blown gasp)  Yes its crazy, its intense, its ridiculous, and its scary– but lets not let that stop us from enjoying a read and learning about an amazing city.  Yup, KANSAS CITY actually IS an amazing city.

Now I put “school in” in parentheses because you can leave those words in or out.  If you have already graduated college or already attend a college than lets read this as “Why You Should Go to Kansas City” because… well, you should.  If you’re in high school and about to make a decision of where to go- let me do some braggin’ on and convincin’ of Kansas City.  (If you don’t know MidAmerica is in Olathe, KS– just a twenty minute straight shot away from downtown KC)

SO here it is… Why YOU Should Go to (School In) Kansas City:

If you’re a sports fan:

Do I really need to say anything else about these Royals, man? If so read my post from a few weeks ago– it will enlighten you.  We are now in the World Series and can I say this city is going crazy!  Even the fountains (if you didn’t know Kansas City has the second most amount of fountains in a city) are all blue, ROYAL blue!  If you don’t believe me here is some convincing:

http://postgradproblems.com/this-is-an-absolutely-bone-chilling-tribute-to-the-kansas-city-royals-playoff-run/

Also I got the chance to go to game 3 against the Orioles… Here I am with my sister

kayla and I Royals

If you aren’t a huge baseball fan- no worries! Our KC Chiefs are doing pretty well!  Arrowhead Stadium is actually the loudest stadium in the world!  Our MNU boys even got the chance to play there! Here is a picture with my friends at the game:

arrowhead game with friends

If you like soccer– good news! KC has one of the best soccer teams in the MLS!  Heading out to Sporting is always a fun time!

If you’re into the arts:

I say this in my fancy voice.  KC is great if you love the arts!  My sister and I went to the ballet this last weekend at the Kauffman Center…. and let me just say I was impressed all around. It may have been for a project but I quite enjoyed it!

ballet with kayla

 

They have the symphony, ballet, and opera all at the Kauffman Center which is beautiful!  Also the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is phenomenal as well as the Plaza Art Fair!

(Also if you like jazz- check out the Green Lady!)

If you love to eat:

Who doesn’t?  But KC is a great place to grab some good food.  We are known for our BBQ–I highly recommend Oklahoma Joes which did not originate in Oklahoma believe it or not– There are soo many good places to eat though! Great Mexican restaurants, fondue places, all you can eat meat restaurants, amazing burger places, and soooo much more!  You really can’t get enough of the good cookin’ in KC.

If you’re a hipster:

Oh man this is a great place for you! Every coffee house in KC seems to have that “hipstery” flare (yes I made up a word).  I personally love the Roasterie– which has 3 KC locations! Yay happy day! (Also I have a free drink to redeem so I need to stop by there get myself a Chai latte)

If you love some good concerts- we have so many great places and get so many great bands.  City and Colour is a personal favorite of mine and this year is the second year in a row they have come to KC.

Also we have the river market, farmers market, First Fridays (vintage findings in West Bottoms), and West Port…. (enough said).

If you love a good theme park:

Good news! MNU is 30 minutes away from Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun… Also about that distance away from Schlitterbahn Water Park!

If you love Christmas: 

Can I tell you there is nothing better than the Christmas season in Kansas City… The Plaza lights, Crown Center, and Union Station– they make the season so much more cheerful! I even posted a blog about it last year– feel free to check it out I am sure I will be writing another one soon enough however!

kc plaza lights

crown center christmas

If you love nature:

Kansas City is huge and vast, so don’t think you’ll be surrounded by buildings with no nature.  Just take a short drive and you’ll see it.  On MNU’s campus we have the BEST trees around! (seriously though)  If you drive 30 minutes south you’ll be on some farms, and in an hour drive or so you’ll hit the flint hills (yes we know Kansas is a flat state and the flint hills are basically nothing- but c’mon they are still pretty cool for a flat state).

There is soo much more… but I will leave you with this to ponder. Seriously you need to come to KC. If you need more information… stop by this site:

http://kansascity.national-property-management-group.com/about-kansas-city/lifestyle/

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Aaron Merrell

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October 19, 2014

Road Trip!

October 19, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey guys!

Sorry this is coming at you a day late, but I hope everyone is having a great weekend- it’s the last day of fall break for MNU students and I’ve had a great time.
School breaks or even weekends can be a great time to get to know some friends better- by having them come to your hometown or you going to theirs.  It’s so fun to see all of the places in their hometown your friends talk about, meet their family and friends from back home, and get a home cooked (free and delicious) meal!
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Having friends over to see my house when we need a break from the non-stop busyness of the campus is a great time to connect with them, but going out of town to someone else’s house is amazing, and that’s what I’ve been doing this weekend.
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This weekend, my friends Rico, Taylor and I all packed up into Grace’s car and headed to Carthage, Missouri for their annual Maple Leaf Festival.
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We got to have fun with her family, eat smoked ribs and chicken, stay up late and watch movies, and even go to a haunted house in Joplin, Missouri. The Maple Leaf events were exciting as well- we saw an almost three hour parade featuring some great marching bands, saw a band festival/competition, and got to do some great people watching.
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We’re on our way back to campus today feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the semester, ready to see all of our other friends, and ready to talk to them about their fall breaks and ours.
I hope you have an amazing week, and I’ll see you this weekend!
Aaron
Aaron Merrell

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October 11, 2014

All Eyes On You

October 11, 2014 | By | One Comment

Hope everyone had an awesome week!

This time, I’m gonna talk about something I’ve had to remember this year especially.

It is SO easy to just act however you want and act however you think will impress your friends. It’s even easier to say things behind people’s backs, or take judgmental posture, but we need to remember that people are always watching, and people are always listening. Whether you know it or not, someone may be modeling their behavior off of yours.

I’m a Freshman Seminar Mentor this year, so it’s been even more important to remember this than ever. The freshmen in my group are an awesome bunch of people and I can’t wait to continue to get to know them this year.

I’m guilty not only of being a bad example at times, but of following someone else’s bad example. We need to look at positive examples and be able to discern between positive and negative behavior. It’s great to have friends that you can laugh with, but what/who are you laughing at? It’s better to have friends you can sit down and open up with, who can make you laugh at yourself, or at their stories; these are the ones that will last a lifetime.

Even while still in high school, you can start to seek out deeper friendships with friends you already have, and you can look for new ones. It’s been hard to cut poisonous people out of my life because I genuinely cared about them, and I still do, but it’s so important to surround ourselves with people we can rely on, people who can help us tackle the hard times, and the tough questions.

That’s about all I have for this week! Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next weekend!

-Aaron