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Mackenzie Theiler


November 23, 2015

Living ON Campus vs. Living OFF Campus

November 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

Living ON Campus:

It has its perks, but it also, has its downsides. Being a freshman, it can be super exciting coming in, fresh out of high school, excited to be on your own and have a roommate. You get to meet new people and make new friendships. You get to experience, what it means, to be a true college kid. On this campus, for both, men and women, there are three styles of dorm living. The first style, is the freshman and sophomore dorms. In them, there are one to two roommates per room. They share a community shower with the rest of the hall. The second and third style are both, considered, upper class-men dorms, but are two different styles. In them, there are six roommates, with three bedrooms (two roommates to a room). The differences between the two upper class-men dorms are, one is an apartment style dorm (upstairs/downstairs, two bathrooms, and a kitchen); and the other dorm just has three rooms and a bathroom. Being a transfer student, I am used to living in an apartment. I was lucky enough, to live in an apartment style dorm. Living in the dorms is not always pleasant. A lot of the times it is hard for students to adjust to a dorm life. Especially, if they are not used to living with new/random people. With that being said, not everyone gets along all the time. People are human, meaning they are not perfect. Living with five or even one to two roommates, peoples personality can create conflict. This could cause roommates to have arguments and disagreements. Also, with going to a school that has a small campus, a lot of people try to know your business, when you live on campus. The school is very on campus living, oriented. They like the idea of a community. Living on campus is not all that bad, the school tries to do a good job with having different dorm activities to make it fun and feel at home.

Living OFF Campus:

You have to be 22 or older to live off campus. You can also, live off campus, if you are living at home, with your parents. Every college has their own set of rules, and not all of them have the same rules. They very, when students can and cannot live off campus. This school has a lot of diversity, from international students to students all over the USA. The majority of the population on campus, are student athletes. The reason for student athletes staying on campus, instead of off campus, is because a lot of these athletes are here on scholarship. This means, depending on the size of the scholarship, there living expenses are paid for. If they live off of campus, the school does not provide them with off campus housing coverage. Most students wish they could live off campus, but they are a college student and/or student athlete; and most cannot afford to live off campus. If you decide to live off campus, a lot of them say, they like living off better, than living on. They feel as though, they have more privacy in their life and people tend to be less in there business. Living off campus does not exclude them getting to enjoy the fun activities that the school hosts, throughout the year.

I would say your first year here wether a freshman or a transfer, feel out both, living on campus vs. living off campus. Everyone is different and has their own acquired taste, of what they like. I know, next year, I will be living off campus, once I turn 22. Being from California, where everything is so expensive, things out here are much cheaper. Figure out what floats your boat and offers you the best experience; because everyone has a different experience, wether it is living off or on campus.

Renee DeVault


November 17, 2015

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! I attempt to blog about newspaper!

November 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

When I decided to come to MNU, one of the first things I did was grab one of the newspapers from Bell Center when I went to a choir concert. I’m not even sure I read the whole thing, to be honest, but right from the beginning I knew that an element of my life was going to be wrapped up in this paper.

At MNU the paper is called The Trailblazer. The print edition comes out roughly three times a semester, and the online version is usually updated every week.

Over the summer I met with the advisor, Melinda Ablard-Smith, for coffee at Starbucks. Nervous, I told her that, despite having little to no journalism experience, I was wanting to potentially write for the school paper.

Melinda was incredibly helpful in answering all of my questions, and she assured me I would be able to sign up for–and fit into my schedule–the class.

Basically, how the newspaper works is students enroll in a class, called Multimedia Workshop, which is a one credit hour class that meets at 6:30 Monday nights. This semester Melinda is teaching a journalism workshops at 5:30, before class, where we all get together, eat good food, get chocolate thrown at us for answering questions, and just generally have a good time together while learning the nuts and bolts of journalism.

Advertisement last year for students interested in signing up to work for the Trailblazer

Advertisement last year featuring the modeling talent of Josh Brisco to promote Journalism at MNU.

The actual Multimedia Workshop class splits into students doing Yearbook or Newspaper, and then the Newspaper students further split into three categories: the editors, the reporters, and the video team. This semester I am a reporter.

At the beginning of the actual Trailblazer class session, Melinda sits down with all three groups and goes over a short journalism lesson, recites a bible verse, asks for prayer requests, and then leads the team in a group prayer. Then she dismisses the video team and turns over the class to the Editor-in-Chief, our fearless leader, Robbie Wegley.

Robbie and Josh (Joshua Brisco, Managing/News Editor) usually talk through some specific things the reporters need to work on (like the fact that I keep forgetting to submit pictures with my stories), talk about some current events both in the world and at the school, and then go through story pitches.

Every week the reporters and the editors turn in story pitches–ideas for stories or topics we think the Trailblazer should cover. In class, Robbie reads through the pitches, asks those who pitched them to expand upon their ideas, and decides which stories make the cut. The stories are then assigned to reporters, who usually have the rest of that week to get the story done and sent to their section editor.

I’ve worked mostly with Josh, for news, and Morgan Peiffer, for life stories. Wyatt Stark edits sports, and Sydney Wright edits opinion pieces. Katie Linsey edits the videos, and Hailey Kendrick is the graphic designer.

The Staff

The Staff

When I first started writing stories, I was pretty freaked out. I had never conducted an interview, or wrote any sort of news story before, but the editors really helped me out. If anybody is thinking about being a reporter next semester, I would highly encourage it even if you don’t have any journalism experience. The writing is very different than writing for school papers, or almost any other assignment I’ve been given.

It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, I just get to talk to people about what they’re passionate about, and I help them communicate that passion to people who may not have otherwise been able to hear about it. That’s my favorite way of looking at articles.

For example, I got to talk to people involved in the LQVE Haiti Passion to Serve project for my first article. I got the article done, but I also got to hear their stories about Quincy, their vision for the future, and their passion for what they are doing. I count it as a great privilege.


And of course not all stories are like that, but I have yet to be assigned story that didn’t require me learning something new in order to write it. Yes, it is a lot of hard work, but I have met so many people I never expected to meet.

How many students have sat down for half of an hour and really talked to the Manager of the IT department or the head of Campus Security? They are incredible people who have a lot of passion for their jobs, and they taught me things about their respective departments that I never knew, ways they are serving the school that I would have otherwise overlooked.

20151117_204346711_iOS 20151117_204401709_iOS

It took me out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways, but I think that is what makes it one of my favorite things I do on campus. I am forced to learn in order to continue, and I’m forced to work closely with people if I want anything to get done. In the end getting the paper out is a team effort, and I’m incredibly proud of it.

I also think that having a completely student led newspaper that is allowed to talk about tough subjects, present opposing sides to issues, and investigate the school itself speaks incredibly highly of MNU. It is hard to brag about The Trailblazer without bragging about this school.

The Forum is one of my favorite sections of the paper where opposing viewpoints about an issue are discussed.

The Forum is one of my favorite sections of the paper where opposing viewpoints about an issue are discussed.

And most of all The Trailblazer is just fun…at least for me it is 😉

The people who work for the paper know how to talk to people, know how to tell a good story, and tend to enjoy being around each other. I love hearing everybody’s opinions about topics in class, and I also enjoy listening to them talk about what is happening in their lives and around campus.

Plus you get to experience the hilarity of Josh after class ends, and that’s always fun.


Trailblazer Online Link

Katie Linsey


November 11, 2015

10 Things That Change After Freshman Year

November 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

This is my second year at MNU, and although I’m going to the same school and studying the same thing, it seems vastly different from my freshman year. There are quite a few things that have changed, small and big. Here’s my personal list of things that have changed since freshman year. I hope this can apply to other students besides myself. :)

1. The amount of times you eat at Campus Center

It’s not necessarily that I eat out more, but I get real tired of the having the same thing for dinner every day. Maybe that’s my fault for being picky about what I put into my body. All I can say is I’m real thankful for the stacks of soup and protein bars in my suite.

2. The amount of studying you do

I study a lot more than I did my freshman year. It’s quite ridiculous, actually. It was easy to get away with cramming the night before and pretending I knew what I was writing about in essays last year, but not this year. Not at all. As I’m getting into upper level classes, I’m having to put a lot more effort into my assignments, tests, and projects.

3. Your relationships

So many of my relationships have changed this year… including with friends, family, and faculty. I’ve lost and gained friends this year, but the friendships I’m investing in this year have a more real sense of permanence than last year. Freshman year, it’s easy to befriend everyone and go on coffee dates with many people, but after that, there comes a point when you don’t have time for everyone you’ve befriended. Following that realization is a choice to invest in people that will become your closest friends. My relationship with my parents has also changed as I become one step closer to entering the “adult world.” I rely on them a lot more to get me on my feet and teach my practical things. I also appreciate their presence in my life a lot more than I did freshman year. My relationships with faculty have become more deep and meaningful, as I’m beginning to have the same professors for multiple classes. It’s incredible to realize how much my professors really care about me beyond my abilities in their particular class. It’s been fun getting to know them personally and continuing to learn from them.

4. Dorm life

Freshman year dorm life is an amazing thing, but it doesn’t last forever. I don’t think I have the energy to live in the freshman dorm for all of my college career. After freshman year, dorm life becomes a lot more chill (at least in Spindle). People have so much going on that it’s harder to just pop into someone’s dorm and hang out for hours. Everything has to be planned, it seems like.

5. The amount of time it takes you to get ready in the morning 

Last year, I tried a lot harder than I do this year. It was probably because I was new to the community and cared what people thought. This year, however, I care very little about what people think about my appearance. And even if I did care, I definitely care about an extra 30 minutes of sleep more. Less make-up, less nice clothes, and less heat on my hair… that’s how it goes.

6. The amount of fruit you steal from Campus Center

Like I said, Campus Center doesn’t see me quite as much as it did last year. Because of that, the amount of fruit I steal has to increase so that I have an apple to eat every day (and a banana in case I want to mix it up). Remember, folks: The bigger the backpack or the coat, the more fruit for your room.

7. Your wardrobe

This goes along with taking less time to get ready in the morning. The amount of crewneck sweatshirts has increased and the amount of jewelry has decreased. It’s all about the fuzzy socks and the baggy sweatshirts.

8. The amount of times you walk to class

Campus Security has been sure to teach me which parking lots I can’t park in, unfortunately, since I was never taught that in Freshman Seminar. It’s all about finding the parking lot that’s closest to your class and leaving 5 minutes before it starts, right?

9. You don’t have time for every single event on campus

I have gone to significantly less ASG and sporting events compared to freshman year, but that’s not because I don’t want to go. It’s because I don’t have enough time in my life to do everything. There’s always something going on, and that’s great, but it’s not gonna happen every time. And that’s okay.

10. The amount of times you check how many Spiritual Formation credits you have

It’s not that I don’t love chapel, it’s that I have 37 assignments due tomorrow and that extra hour in the morning would be really handy. As long as I get exactly 40 points, it’ll all be okay.

So… there you have it. 10 things that have changed since freshman year. Although there are a lot of changes with sophomore year, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve had a pretty good school year so far.

Thanks for reading!



Renee DeVault


November 9, 2015

Let’s Be Freaks and Weirdos Again

November 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

A lot of things can happen during a show week. When you’re forced to spend almost thirty hours in one week with the same group of people, crazy things are bound to happen.

Brigadoon was last week and, like most of the “fun” things I try to do on campus, God managed to wrangle his way into it.



I’m not going to talk about the show its self–although it was totally awesome, everybody in the cast did a fantastic job, the crew rocked as did the pit, and the male lead was absolutely wonderful (I think he’s super cute too. For anyone who doesn’t know, Quinn, my boyfriend, was the lead).

The really cool stuff was what happened with my friend group back stage, after the show, exhausted, and just hanging out.

I don’t know if you have ever gotten a verse stuck in your head, but the whole week I had the same one.

John 13:35 states, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

This verse is right after Jesus has washed his disciple’s feet, had the Passover meal, and called out Judas for his future betrayal. Not to make an understatement, but these disciples were going through or about to go through some pretty serious stress: a lot of it in their relationships with one another.

When Jesus was crucified, I wonder how many of them thought their whole group would separate forever. I mean, in all logical reality, the twelve of them never should have been together to begin with. They were an odd group to say the least.

However, when I think about the church of Acts it talks about them eating meals together, meeting at each others’ houses every night, praying for one another, and confessing their sins to one another. Later on it is obvious how much Paul loves everybody in the church and how much they loved Paul.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” right after Jesus told them to love one another as he loves them.

This whole idea had been bouncing around in my brain while I did this show. I was spending more time with these people then ever before. With my closest friends, I was even choosing to stay up late: sitting with them and listening to problems they were having.

Why don’t people talk anymore? Really, really, talk?

What evidence is there that we really love one another? Posting “I love you!” on somebody’s Facebook or just saying it in passing just doesn’t seem real, not when compared to the kind of biblical brotherly and sisterly love we see as part of the early church.

I know my friends and I aren’t perfect. I am a self diagnosed freak and no offence to my friends but they are far from being relationally perfect as well.


My friends laugh whole heartedly at this photo, for example

Ally Tinker (My Phantom gift giver during the show) made me a dinosaur hoodie. They made fun of me about it too like true friends.

Ally Tinker (My Phantom gift giver during the show) made me a dinosaur hoodie. They made fun of me about it too like true friends.

I think the key difference is being willing to tell people what needs to be said.

This could be me confessing something about myself that had been eating me up inside, or it could be telling a friend something that I know they need to hear. Both situations make things awkward.

It’s ok sometimes to be awkward.

Jesus washing his disciple’s feet was awkward.

Jesus sharing about his giving of his blood and his body was probably awkward.

Jesus telling Judas he knew he was going to betray him would have definitely been awkward.

20151107_062204370_iOS 20151109_181344000_iOS

Love is weird.

I had to think about it. Why would I want to stay up to all hours of the night/morning talking about personal issues? Why would giving a stressed out friend a back rub, helping them with their makeup, or stopping in the middle of the street to legitimately ask them if they are alright be a normal thing?

It all hit me hard when, at Midnight Thirty (12:30 AM for those who don’t speak Renee), a friend texted me and asked me to bring them soup from Walmart. My gut instinct was to show the text to someone else who I knew loved this person, and before I knew it, I had a car-full of people who had previously been gung-ho ready to call it a night after a long and exhausting week of the show. We love each other.

I want my friends to be able to tell me absolutely anything they need to, and I don’t want to have a drop of judgment for, or resentment towards, them because I know there is a common grace. I want to be a relational freak, that one weird person who will say things that I culturally shouldn’t say to people and drop everything and go to their aid like a total weirdo if need be.

That’s my goal for relationships at MNU. I don’t want to attend a Christian University, have mostly Christian friends, and be able to leave without knowing what it’s like to love people to the point of it reflecting God himself.

Two things I’m praying for this week as rehearsals no longer force me to see certain people every single day…

  1. That I can somehow channel God’s love towards me into the way I relate to my friends. Jesus was radical in how he formed relationships and I need help so why not learn from him.
  2. That students at MNU would refuse to settle for casual. We were designed in the image of a being intimately dependent on three separate persons that all make up one God. It’s beautiful and complicated and engrained in our very being. Faith cannot be purely individual. We need to rediscover our need for each other.
Div Tosinglo


October 30, 2015


October 30, 2015 | By | No Comments

Maybe it’s been the gloomy weather, or maybe it’s all those Coldplay songs I’ve been listening to. But I’ve been in a really poetic mood. So I wrote this poem portraying some of the things you may find yourself dealing with college.


Every season brings in
a tide of new faces
and waves of new rages.
Old prides will be torn
down so humility
may grow.
You will reap what
you sow
Strangers will become lovers
and crushes will forget.
You’ll be a hopeless
romantic because cupid’s
arrows will miss.
You’ll tell stories of who
you want to be but
most will focus
who you’ve been.
They’ll be pains that’ll
take more than the
next day to mend.
You’ll learn that you can
dream farther than the
Walls you have set in your
Every season brings
a tide of new faces
maybe in this season
will be yourself that you find


Hailey Kendrick


October 21, 2015

Advice for college

October 21, 2015 | By | No Comments


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.

Katie Linsey


October 20, 2015


October 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey! So, last week was Homecoming Week here at MNU… which means every night is filled with fun, friends, and free food. :)

Here’s a quick recap of the events that I attended.

Thursday night: Hoedown


The Hoedown is something I look forward to every year. It’s basically a bunch of fun dancing, donuts from the Louisburg Cider Mill, root beer, and the crowning of the class princes and princesses!

Friday night: Bonfire/Buck Night


This year, ASG decided to do a giant bonfire at one of the football practice fields and then gave every student free food at the Buck Night. The Buck Night is a place where alumni gather and have the opportunity to make food and sell samples of it to friends. There was also live music and the Royals game playing… it’s a fun evening with fellow students and graduates of MNU!

Saturday afternoon: Homecoming Football Game

football game

I went to the game with a few of my suite mates… Christen and Tori. :) It was a perfect afternoon for a football game and WE WON. Also, the Homecoming king and queen were crowned, which is always fun to watch.

Saturday evening: Homecoming Banquet


No, I didn’t have a date… but I did have my wonderful suite mate, Christen, to go with! It was a wonderful meal that left me stuffed, followed by a candy bar that I visited even though I was stuffed. There was lots of fun dancing and good conversations with friends that I don’t see often. And everyone looked stunning! It’s always fun to dress up.

Sunday (after church of course): Sleep.

So… there ya have it. MNU Homecoming Week is always something to look forward to. :)


Renee DeVault


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


October 18, 2015

▿ Recognize the Good in Your Life ▿

October 18, 2015 | By | No Comments


“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.

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Renee DeVault


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

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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.


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.