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Mariah McCommon

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January 25, 2015

Love Your Enemies

January 25, 2015 | By | No Comments

This past week has been quite the eye-opening week for me. My semester has started off great so far but has had a few bumps. I’ve been struggling with some personal things and it hasn’t been easy. For the past 18 years of my life, there’s been some crazy drama. College was a fresh start for me. News flash: there’s still drama in college.

Not going into any details, but the main theme throughout this week has been forgiveness and Luke 6:27-36. Being the person I am, I strongly desire for everyone to get along and be jolly. Unfortunately, that’s not reality. Not everyone is going to like you, and you may not like everyone either. We are human in that way I guess. Just because we aren’t necessarily going to be best friends with everyone, doesn’t mean we should treat them as if we hate them or even dislike them. That just makes the situation worse. That has been my greatest struggle.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to despise each other. He died because He forgives us of all our sins so that we may forgive others. I’m pretty sure that’s found in Colossians somewhere. Forgiving people who have wronged you is incredibly difficult sometimes, depending on what they have done to you. When you think about it, how many times do we sin against God in one single day and yet He loves us enough to forgive us? Goodness, now that’s love. I hear so many different times about petty he-said she-said stuff all over and to be honest, it’s plain stupid.

Throughout what I have been experiencing lately, the passage in Luke has seriously been thrown into my face many times. I’m close to having it memorized because I’ve heard it and read it so much. I heard it when I spoke to a friend, when I was sitting in New Testament class, in my daily devotion the other day, and in church this morning. Now, if you don’t know what that passage of scripture says…

27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (NASB).”

This is a great benediction to live by if you ask me. Showing love is the best way to handle any situation no matter how hard it may be. It’s my goal to fall asleep each night knowing I did at least one act of love to someone I may not know or particularly get along with. I hope some of you reading can make it that your goal as well. The temptation will always be there to judge quickly and harshly when things don’t go your way. Before you act upon any temptation to retaliate, ask yourself, “What Would Jesus Do?” I have super glued that into my mind and it helps me out tremendously through my day. I have mended the friendships and relationships that were broken and I’m truly thankful those wounds are healed.

Thanks for reading, have a blessed week and show love to someone you normally wouldn’t. The results may surprise you in the end!

(Feature Image: http://harvardhumanist.org/2012/01/16/love-your-enemies-on-mlk-jr-humanism-and-pluralism/)

Katie Linsey

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January 22, 2015

Community

January 22, 2015 | By | One Comment

Last summer, I was on summer staff at Youthfront Camp West, which is a camp in Edgerton for elementary and middle school aged students. Being on summer staff means being part of a community made up of the other summer staffers, but also the full time staff and weekly volunteers. Being a part of that community and also the community at MNU has taught me a lot. Specifically, it’s taught me the value of community and how to live life more intentionally and fully. There are many important things that I learned about community last semester that has helped me be a more contributing member of the community at MNU.

Community is caring.

A community laughs together, cries together, and cares about each other. I don’t personally know every student at MNU, but I care about everyone as if I did. I can honestly say I feel comfortable striking up a conversation with every person that I pass on campus or sit by in class… and that doesn’t happen everywhere. I even care about all of my professors and the faculty at MNU. Living in a community with a body of believers has given me a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. It’s really beautiful.

Community is not easy.

Don’t get me wrong… community is fun and great, but it’s not always an easy thing to be a part of. Community reminds me of family. You don’t get to choose your family, much like you don’t get to choose everyone who is a part of the same community as you, but you learn to love them simply because you do life with them. There are times when I get annoyed or frustrated with people. There are certain people that I don’t imagine myself being best friends with (which I’ve realized is completely fine, because who could handle over a thousand best friends anyway?). Although there are times when it’s hard, it is always worth it. I sincerely love every single person in the MNU community and I would go to great lengths to help anyone in any way I can. That’s what family does for each other… and at the end of the day, all I can do is thank God for the community He’s led me to be a part of.

Community is an opportunity for growth.

I have grown so much this summer and this past semester because of the communities I’ve been a part of. These experiences have taught me how to love people more boldly and intentionally. One thing I love about MNU is that we are encouraged to live our lives to bring glory to God, worshipping Him at all times. Being surrounded by people who are yearning to know God on a deeper level daily is inspiring. I will never forget the moments of corporate worship at Kingdom Come and the fun events that ASG hosts. All of those things we do together as a community are opportunities for growth in many ways.

Community is essential.

I firmly believe that everyone should experience the power of community at some point in their lives, whether it’s with co-workers, classmates, or even a group of friends that does life together. It can teach us valuable things about loving people and open our eyes to how to do that genuinely and intentionally.

There is no other community I would rather be a part of than MNU. It’s been absolutely incredible and I can’t wait for the years to come. I truly love it so much!

-KT

Mariah McCommon

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January 18, 2015

Second Semester… WUT?!

January 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hi guys! The semester started for us this past Monday. The first day of classes is always kind of exciting because it’s like another beginning to something great. I jumped into seventeen credit hours with 3 jobs on top of that. Don’t worry, I ended up dropping a class. I was so sure I could handle all of it, but to be honest, I just couldn’t. Thankfully I am a semester ahead so there’s no worries!

It’s incredibly hard to believe the second semester is already here. If last semester went by so fast, I can’t even imagine how fast this next one will go! My goal is to make each semester better than the last one. I’ve already began achieving that goal. It seems my perspective towards things changes every week: in a good way. The weather we’ve been having has also been quite a blessing. This afternoon, my friends and I laid on blankets in the middle of the circle and tackled some homework. The temp dropped a bit, but it was enough to make us go inside. I feel like the weather can easily affect someone’s mood. Not drastically, but slightly. It’s just a really great day when the weather is nice.10425885_10205989653688268_7517200206593322076_n

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Last semester in Intro to Ministry, our class was given the opportunity to assist in planting a church and watering it. We are still participating in the ministry. The church is over in Drexel, MO which is about 45 min away from campus. Each week, a few of the students hop into a creeper van with one of our awesome professors and head to the church. This morning was the first time I said yes. I regret not going sooner! The town of Drexel is tiny. I believe 900 is what a congregation member told me. Drexel Church of the Nazarene is a cute little church that has 23 members on a good Sunday. Today there was 19 including us MNU students. We make up half of the congregation. Haha. We also take charge in leading Sunday School and the service. Each week, the tasks vary for each person. We lead Sunday School, worship, service, prayer, offering, etc. We’re there to give the church a boost and we prayer fervently they are able to find a pastor and a great staff. We are grateful for the people there and the opportunities God has given to us through this.10933853_10205989645688068_2900718461529765706_n

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Today’s lesson revolved around the word “potential” and how God has designed each of us in our own unique way. My friend Jaque and I came up with a phrase based upon the lesson: “You have the raw potential to be a rare gem in a sea full of rocks.” Overall, our time at Drexel Church was phenomenal. Not many classes have the chance to say they were able to build a church their freshman year. It’s encouraging, transformational, and growing every week. We hope that by the time we’re sophomores the church will take on a full-time pastor. Until then, we’ll continue to have lots more fun!

 

Katie Linsey

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January 15, 2015

Blessed Semester Ever

January 15, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

My church has been doing a series called “Blessed Year Ever” to kick off the New Year. During this series, my pastor has talked about how, as Christ followers, we can ensure that 2015 will be a year of blessing, and possibly the blessed year ever.

This series, along with the mindset of “starting over” that the New Year always brings, has gotten me thinking a lot about how I want 2015 to look for me personally. I learned a lot my first semester of college and went through lots of new experiences, both good and not so good, that have taught me a lot. These lessons have changed the way I think, act, and the way I want to live my life in general.

If I had to describe my first semester in college in a few words, I would describe it as “amazing and overwhelming.” It was amazing for obvious reasons: new friends, community, and an opportunity to grow as a Christ follower. It was overwhelming because of the lack of balance I experienced. I had a hard time balancing my time, people I wanted to get to know, schoolwork, and many other things. Having to find that balance (and realizing that I will never fully find it) honestly changed me for the better.

I want to dedicate this semester to growing deeper in my relationship with Jesus and building stronger connections within the community at MNU.

I want to seek God wholeheartedly. I want to become bolder in my faith, listening to the Lord and being intentional in everything I do. I want to delight in the presence of God. I want passion and zeal and fire. I want to be so recklessly confident in what God is doing in and through my life that I listen to Him without second thoughts. I want to feel Him all the time, inviting Him into every aspect of my life.

I want to better understand what it means to be a part of a community of believers. I want to dig deeper in my friendships that developed last semester. I want to talk about the hard stuff. I want to encourage and push people to become stronger in their relationship with Jesus. I want to make new friends. I want to make the most of every moment I have in this community because it’s beautiful and I won’t have it forever. I want to make memories that I will never forget. I want to laugh and cry, going through the joys and sorrows of life with some of my favorite people on this earth.

MNU is a special place. I am confident that God has me here for reasons that are unknown to me now. Growing deeper in my relationship with Him and also with the community is something that I’m very excited about. I couldn’t think of a better place to be.

Praise God that a place such as MNU exists.

Cheers to second semester, Pioneers!

-KT

Mariah McCommon

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January 6, 2015

January 5th, 2015

January 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verse

Katie Linsey

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December 4, 2014

Inside Look: Musical Talent at MNU

December 4, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey guys! So, this semester at MNU I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really awesome, unique, talented people. It’s been really fun getting to know people and finding out about their passions and talents. Through learning about people, I’ve discovered that quite a few of my friends are musically talented and love using that talent as a way to connect with people. Here’s a video of some of my friends talking about their passion for music and giving us a little glimpse of their talent. You definitely don’t want to miss seeing all the amazing talent at MNU… so make sure you watch till the end! :)

Hope you have a great week, friends! See you next week!

-KT

Luther Okeyo

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November 30, 2014

Thank You So Much!!

November 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

I know it’s a little late, but it’s been a weird week. I’m still getting over the fact that my football playing days are over. Well let me start over, we lost our playoff game last week to Southern Oregon University last week. It’s been an amazing season, and a wonderful career here at MNU. I have so many great memories that I can take with me for the rest of my life. I just want to thank some of the many people who were able to make all this possible for me.

First and foremost, I want to thank my family. Through thick and thin, they were right there to help me out. I wouldn't certainly be here without them. I love them all to death.

First and foremost, I want to thank my family. Through thick and thin, they were right there to help me out. I wouldn’t certainly be here without them. I love them all to death.

Coach John Diaz, for introducing MNU into my life, and helping me through the tough summer workouts, and making sure that I was always ready for whatever football threw at me.

Coach John Diaz, for introducing MNU into my life, and helping me through the tough summer workouts, and making sure that I was always ready for whatever football threw at me.

The former head football coach Jonathan Quinn for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play football here at MNU.

The former head football coach Jonathan Quinn for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play football here at MNU.

My freshman mentor, Kara Quinn. During my early years at MNU, Kara was there for me, when no one else could. She is getting married to this lucky guy, Chris Lindenmeyer. Fun fact: Chris was my RA my freshman year.

My freshman mentor, Kara Quinn. During my early years at MNU, Kara was there for me, when no one else could. She is getting married to this lucky guy, Chris Lindenmeyer. Fun fact: Chris was my RA my freshman year.

Last, but certainly not least, Coach Willmer. This man, has taught me so much in few months I've known him. He is more than just coach, he teaches you about life, about staying strong in your faith. I'm honored to have gotten to know him.

Last, but certainly not least, Coach Willmer. This man, has taught me so much in few months I’ve known him. He is more than just a coach, he teaches you about life, about staying strong in your faith. I’m honored to have gotten to know him.

I mean I could spend all day thanking countless people for all they have to help me get where I am today. I’m just grateful I got to do something that only 1% of all americans get to do. I was able to play college football. Now I get to follow my mom’s footsteps and become a college graduate. I just want to thank everyone who had a part in shaping me to become the man I am today. I want to thank MNU for providing a platform, most of all thank you God for guiding through this huge part of my life.

Now I just have to get used to just being a regular student now.

 

Aaron Merrell

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November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Break and Visiting Friends

November 29, 2014 | By | One Comment

Hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving!  I had a great time with family and friends, and of course I had to do some major shopping Thursday evening and Friday morning (and yes, I did sleep from 7am-2pm on Friday).

Then today, my friends Rico, Annie and I went to Abilene, KS to see our friend Ana.  We also met up with Ana’s friend who we’ve all come to love, Jordan.  We toured the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Childhood Home in Abilene, and also went to such glamorous Abilene hot spots as Taco Grande, Pizza Hut and Sonic.  We also had the opportunity to visit the local park/playground.

Of course when one is as close as we were to a Braum’s restaurant you have no choice but to go.  I tried a holiday flavor and it left me bitter, once again, that we don’t have one here in Kansas City.

This trip and a few others have shown me the importance of visiting friends at home as often as you can.  This can give life to their stories about their houses, their families, and what they did back home during High School.  Even if it means having to survive a small, old town for a day, you can have an amazing, eye-opening time!

Here’s a bonus picture of Ana, Annie and I on horse swings made of recycled tires in Abilene today:

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Hope you all have an awesome week, and I’ll see you next weekend!

-Aaron

Katie Linsey

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November 27, 2014

9 People I’m Thankful For At MNU

November 27, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

Since today is Thanksgiving, I figured it would be appropriate to give shout-outs to the people I’m most thankful for at MNU. I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to know everyone on campus, but these people have made my experience at MNU extraordinary. Here’s my top 9… love you all!

1. Christa Johnson

Christa Johnson

This girl is not only my roommate, but also my best friend at MNU. When we decided to be roommates in May, I honestly didn’t expect to become so close with her so fast, but it happened. She knows me better than anyone else at MNU and I can completely be myself around her. I wouldn’t trade the late nights and early mornings for anything.

 

2. The Gangstas

The Gangstas

The girls on my hall are great and I’ve become extremely close with a group of them. We like to call ourselves the “gangstas.” Don’t really ask me how we came up with that, because I don’t have an answer. The “gangstas” group consists of Christa Johnson, Hannah Bostic, J.D. Andrews, Ashton Mason, Natalie Cumberland and myself. It’s been a joy doing everyday life with them at MNU. They are an answered prayer in so many ways that they don’t even know. We laugh hard and dig deep and it’s the best group I’ve ever been a part of.

 

3. Ana Weissenbach 

Ana Weissenbach

This girl is my RA, but more than that, she is a dear friend of mine. I have a strong feeling that Ana would act with the same selflessness and genuine care about everyone she meets even if she wasn’t being paid to do so. That’s the thing about her… she just genuinely loves people and shows the love of Christ in everything she does. It’s seriously inspiring. I look up to her on so many levels and I’m so blessed to be able to share the joys and struggles of life with her this year.

 

4. Dani Morgan

Dani Morgan

This girl is the reason I am at MNU. Sounds a little exaggerated, I know, but it’s really not. When I came to SCOUT at MNU my junior year, I was extremely blessed to have been able to room with her and Alex (the inseparable duo). We hit it off and decided to keep in touch. Then, when I ended up at SCOUT again my senior year, I was welcomed into her dorm like it was my own home. Even while I was still in high school, she managed to show me a glimpse of the community at MNU just by the way she loved me and cared about me. Now that I’m at MNU and get to see her everyday, I’m the happiest person.

 

5. Pete Brumbaugh 

Pete Brumbaugh

Pete Brumbaugh, otherwise known as Phonathon Pete, was my boss for the past 6 weeks. He deserves the biggest shout-out for being one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. He genuinely cares about all of his employees, and I can confidently say he genuinely cares about me. He wants to hear about my life and realizes that there’s life outside of the workplace. He has been one of my greatest encouragers during my first semester at MNU and I’m excited for the future of the Phonathon with him as my boss!

 

6. My Blog Bosses (Kelly, Kim, and Amy)

MNU Blogs

This team of people that live in Dobson deserve so much recognition for all they do. When I initially interviewed with Kim and Amy, I knew immediately that I wanted to be on the blogging team. Kelly, Kim, and Amy are all amazing people and getting to know them has been so fun. I’m super thankful for this job everyday. I enjoy it so much and I owe them all a giant THANKS for making this experience one to remember. The blogs wouldn’t exist without these people!

 

7. Britney Lewis

Britney Lewis

This girl is an amazing friend on so many levels. I met her at a Youthfront get-together over the summer and through the MNU Facebook page, and I’m so glad we’ve become friends this year. She is so in tune with The Lord and that is so inspiring to me. It’s been fun travelling to LaCygne with her and growing with her. She’s super fun and is definitely a light in my world!

 

8. Mario Flores

Mario Flores

This guy is my brother (theologically speaking, of course). I met him two summers ago at Youthfront and I realize now what a divine appointment that was. We kept in touch a bit throughout the school year and following summer, and now I go to school with him. It’s so weird to me, but I am so thankful that I get to experience the community at MNU with him. I can trust him with anything and know with confidence that his advice is given with my best interest in mind. He is super wise and loves The Lord in a beautiful way. I’m forever grateful to be your little sis!

 

9. Deanna Williams 

Deanna Williams

Deanna is a person I look up to on many levels. She is a fantastic role model for all the girls on campus because of the way she loves God and loves people. She is so selfless, pouring into young people for the sake of Christ. She has given me great advice and been there to listen when I need someone to digress to. I absolutely love seeing her around campus and on Wednesday nights.

 

So… there you have it! The people that make my experience at MNU the best I could ever imagine. I’m excited to continue meeting awesome people at the awesome place. :) Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Enjoy the rest of your break!

-KT

Aaron Merrell

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November 22, 2014

An MNU/KC/Santa Ricky Christmas

November 22, 2014 | By | 3 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