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Friends - 3/19 - MNU Blogs

Katie Linsey

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January 12, 2016

Welcome to the Suite Life

January 12, 2016 | By | No Comments

Living in Spindle 306 is so fun… and strange at times. Our living area is full of crazy and weird things. Here’s a virtual tour of our suite… and why you should come visit sometime. :)

Paper snowflakes on the ceiling.

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Christmas time in Spindle 306 is a blast, including these homemade snowflakes that stay up all winter.

A scooter garage.

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Yes, we actually use them. Scooter rides in the parking lot happen often.

Lamps with no bulbs in them.

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I honestly have no clue why we don’t have lightbulbs in some of our lamps. Decoration, I guess?

A toilet paper pyramid in the bathroom.

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You never know when MNU is going to run out of toilet paper, so you stock up when you can.

Mounted deer head.

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This was a perfect find in the Target dollar section. It looks like a combination of a moose, dog, and pig.

Ken dolls. 

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We started out with just Chad (on left), and then Justin Bieber came to live with us for this semester. They’re a blast to have around!

Hairy floor.

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No matter how many times we vacuum, there will always be hair on the floor. It’s great when we’re working out and finish with hair all over our leggings.

A coat tree that looks like a person in the dark.

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I swear this thing has scared me so many times. Definitely convenient though.

Enough canned soup to last a year.

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It seems like everyone in our suite enjoys eating soup often. There is so much of it. It’s great for those nights when Campus Center just doesn’t cut it.

So… there you have it! A little tour of Spindle 306 and how fun the dorm life can be. :)

-KT

Renee DeVault

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January 10, 2016

Resolution vs. Solution

January 10, 2016 | By | No Comments

I have always had an issue with the concept of resolutions. Especially around New Years time because it all seems too overdone. No one is expected to really follow through on theirs and it seems to have become a cultural joke.

When I used to make resolutions I always found myself becoming increasingly depressed as I failed at my resolutions and constantly had to start over and fail again. I’m not sure if this is a personal problem or something common but in either case it raises an issue.

Are resolutions worth making if it’s just going to depress me when I don’t fulfill them?

However without resolving to change will I ever?

Is there a better way?

I propose that for real change to happen in a person’s life resolving to change is not enough. Perhaps at least in my life there needs to be less resolution for the future and more solution for the here and now. Some points that I’m exploring…

1, Accountability

I think this is why some people post their resolutions on Facebook. Once it’s public we may feel like we will stick to the goal better. I have seen this work for other people but it does not work for me. Public resolutions may seem like they would keep one more accountable but I think it just adds to the guilt factor when resolutions aren’t being met.

I would propose telling a smaller group of friends or family about what you want to change. The accountability is still there and in times when the plan gets rough you can focus more on getting back on track and less on the guilt of being off track.

Mutual accountability is also a beautiful thing. Finding a few friends who are trying to solve things of their own can be very helpful. Not only can you remind each other of what you want to do but one friend’s success may inspire another’s.

2. Creative Solutions to individual problems

Trying to fit an individualized issue in life into a mass solution may seem at times like fitting a square box into a circular hole. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. When a resolution is made I believe that a creative brainstorming session will almost always be necessary.

Perhaps the popular solution to a problem simply wont work. For example, joining a gym and working out a certain amount of time every day just wont work with a college budget or time table. And if this method is attempted anyway time and time again fails then it can cause resolution depression. The problem may not be with you if the resolution isn’t working out. The problem may be with the method.

Put on your thinking cap. Sit down, make a schedule and look at the realities of your time and resources and try to find a solution which is both possible and fits somewhere naturally in your life.

Ask friends for their help in designing a solution. they may see windows of opportunity or other creative solutions that you can’t. If the first solution or method doesn’t work then go back, be honest, say it doesn’t work and begin brainstorming another solution.

A quest for a solution allows for much more self-given grace than a resolution often does. When you fail or fall short finding a new solution can be more productive than failing the same solution multiple times.

3. Praying

First, I think that before setting out on a quest of self-improvement, God, who knows us best and knows who we were created to be, should be asked to reveal what needs to be changed in order to make us more like him, better able to do his work, and better able to bring praise to him with our lives.

I believe that if we ask God what we should focus energy on changing in order to fulfill these created purposes, he will tell us. Resolving to change and having a God-appointed mission to find a solution are two very different things.

If God calls you to change an aspect of your life or relationship with him then he will give you the tools you need to change it.

Our God seems to care much more about our process than our final product. We put a lot of stock in the product but it is through the relentless, suborn process of trying solution after solution to fully obey God that we develop our character. The difficult process, not the resolution and not the final product, is what equips us to be able to obey a call to change in the next area of our lives that he presents.

 

I do not believe that resolutions are bad. They can be very effective and significantly impact us, our lives, and our likeness of God if the effort goes past the resolution in into a solution. Trust your friends, be willing to try things differently, look for growth in failure, and constantly be asking God for strength and guidance into how to invest the resources that he has given you.

 

 

Isaac Walker

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January 6, 2016

My New Year Resolutions

January 6, 2016 | By | One Comment

Hey friends!  It is five days into the new year and I have been doing some thinking.  Looking back, last year was not necessarily the best year of my life.  It was actually pretty rough on me.  Through all that, I have grown to be the person I am now and I think I have handled this past year very well. I have grown a lot from all of the trials I faced.  I made amazing new friends and strengthened the relationships of friends I already had.

I want to continue growing and becoming the person God wants to be this year.  With that, I have a few resolutions for this year.  I think I had made some every year and never followed through a single one!  I am kinda lame when it comes to things like that…But I have a good feeling about this year.  So if you all don’t mind, I am going to share some of my resolutions for this year. These are in no particular order and some are not quite as deep and serious as others are, but they all are important to me!

  •  Start a book and actually finish it.
    • I cannot tell you how many I have started reading and never finished.  Some books I started more than once!  I actually am about to finish a book I started a few months ago, but I want to start and finish one in the same year.  And a year is a very long time to give myself for one book!  I really am not that slow of a reader.  I just wont read it often.
  • Learn a new skill and become better at a preexisting skill.
    • I am taking a painting class this upcoming semester and honestly, I am a little scared!  I have never really painted seriously like that before.  I love Bob Ross, but I never even thought about attempting to replicate his visionary masterpieces.  So we will see how that half of this resolution pans out.
    • Some of you may know me as the violin guy that plays in chapel.  Well you are wrong.  It is actually called a viola.  It is similar to a violin, but it sounds better.  That is a skill I would like to be better at.  I literally never practice my viola and I know for a fact that if I did, I could be so much better.  I am not trying to be cocky or conceded, but when one practices, they get better.  I also sing.  I would go far enough to say that I am a good singer, but I know I have a lot of room for improvement.  I could increase my range and I could have better control of my voice.
This is my very own viola. I think I have been playing for about 11 years now.

This is my very own viola. I think I have been playing for about 11 years now.

  • I want to start exercising more regularly.
    • Last summer I took a yoga class at JCCC and the semester before that I took a gym class at JCCC and just used their work out facility.  I dreaded it every day but I felt really good from all the exercise.  Now I do nothing…I get winded walking from Colony to the caf…So many people I know work out regularly.  When they tell that they work out, I can feel the condescending tone in their voice.  What they really are saying is “Yes I know I am better than you”.  I want to be that person.  I will probably just run in the evenings or something.  Nothing too crazy.
  • Start a YouTube channel.
    • As I mentioned before, I love to sing.  I even write song lyrics from time to time.  For years I have wanted to start a YouTube channel where I posted covers.  I even would love to start one with my best friend Chelsea.  I follow a variety of different YouTubers and I know I could do what they do!  Me and Chelsea are just as funny and ridiculous as Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart.  We just aren’t famous!
For those of you who do not know her, I am sorry. This is Chelsea. We have been froends now for about 10 years now.

For those of you who do not know her, I am sorry. This is Chelsea. We have been friends now for about 10 years now.

  • I want to be more organized.
    • I am the worst procrastinator I know.  Every semester I start out using my planner like a boss.  I write everything I need to do in it, but by the second month I forget that it even exists.  It gets buried far down in my backpack.  That is when I forget about things.  Long term assignments are my worst enemies.  I put them off till the very last minute.  This semester I want to be on top of things better.  I will finish my assignments long before the day they are due.
  • Keep a daily devotional all year.
    • This may seem cliche and basic but I am serious!  I have always been encouraged by my mom to do this.  Over the many years of my short life, I have  accumulated quite a few different devotional books.  I have started a few of them, but not to my surprise, I did not stick with it.  I have My Utmost For His Highest and I have heard a lot of great things about that devotional.  If anyone has any recommendations, shoot them my way!
This is the daily devotional I am going to do every day!

This is the daily devotional I am going to do every day!

Here are some more with less detail:

  • Climb a 14,000 ft < mountain.
This is Mt. Beirstadt. I hiked up this mountain over the summer with Kairos.

This is Mt. Beirstadt. I hiked up this mountain over the summer with Kairos.

  • Get all my assignments in on time.
  • Figure out exactly what I want to do with my life.
  • Get a Chia Pet.
Chia pets are just cool.

Chia pets are just cool.

Now I know I will not accomplish all of these.  I will be happy with myself if I do one of these!  But I am going to try gosh darn it!  But in all seriousness, I am very excited for this new year.  I have a feeling God has a lot in store for me.  And I know that it is not going to be easy.  I am thankful for all the people He has put in my life that have helped me along the way and that are going to be here for me this year.

Happy new year friends!  I hope you all have an awesome year full of God’s blessings!

Until next time.

Renee DeVault

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January 2, 2016

Fo Shizzle Winter Break Update, Yo!

January 2, 2016 | By | No Comments

I kicked off winter break with STAR WARS!!!!! I was insanely excited. I went with Gabe, Josh, Quinn, and Kory to the B&B Theater in Overland Park (My current favorite movie theater) and we sat on the second row of their huge theater. Every few minutes before the movie started I would turn to one of them and excitedly whisper “STAR WARS!” probably driving them nuts, but they still talk to me so it’s cool.

 

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I asked Josh to take a picture of Quinn and I in front of the Star Wars poster sign thing and ended up with about a dozen of these beauties.

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They eventually took our picture and it makes me so happy. I grew up watching borrowed copies of the original three movies on VHS and I once had a Star Wars party where everyone came dressed up and we had a marathon (Thirteen year old me was pretty cool) and I went to Comicon two years ago dressed as a Jedi. I really enjoy Star Wars.

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I was really glad I got to see Star Wars with Quinn because just a few days later I had to drive him to the airport to drop him off for his three week adventure to Nairobi, Kenya. His mother is the Chaplin at Africa Nazarene University there. I was thrilled that he got to see his family but it was still sad dropping him off. I get to go pick him up in less than a week though!

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The time change makes communicating a little crazy. Lucky for me he has Wifi and we can face time but only early in the day or late at night. Midnight on New Years was 3:00PM my time so for a while he was communicating with me from a different year. We made many a time traveler and Doctor Who joke.

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I joked that with Quinn gone I would finally have some time to work on things like my blog, my lines for Mousetrap (February 25-27th in the Black Box theater in Bell Center), edit my book, and write Quinn a one act play for his directing class…but man, it’s hard to be productive when friends and family are so much fun.

I have spent many a day at coffee shops sitting with my laptop writing though. I put in my headphones, listen to the Twenty One Pilots Blurryface album on repeat, drink coffee, and generally feel very connected to my introverted and creative sides.

By the way, Black Dog coffee shop in Lenexa (20 minutes from MNU) will let you purchase a “bottomless coffee” for around $4 which allows for unlimited refills on their brew coffee while you’re in the shop. This is very important know if you decide to spend eight hours editing your book and talking to cool people like Josh who show up to keep you from going insane.

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My Christmas was awesome. My Grandparents came up for about a week. It was wonderful to get to just sit around the house and enjoy being with family. My mom and I got to take fun Christmas pictures together and it was just generally very relaxing and fun.

I very much needed a holiday. It was also great to get to go to my home church for Christmas Eve service.

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It snowed a bit after Christmas here in Olathe. I then just got to sit around with my puppy, read mystery novels, and drink tea and dairy free hot chocolate. Life is good. I very much needed a break.

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Olathe is still snowy but we go about our regular business. I’m setting up a bunch of plans to hang out with old High School friends as well as MNU friends who live in town.

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Enjoy break cool cats.

 

Katie Linsey

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December 16, 2015

My Favorite Memories From This Semester

December 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

As the semester comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on my favorite memories of sophomore year so far.

The first thing that comes to mind is the trip I took to Colorado over fall break. I went with my friend Christen and we stayed with an amazing family while we were there. Christen and I explored Colorado Springs, hung out with horses, watched some Royals baseball, and went to New Life Church.

mountains

Speaking of Royals baseball, another one of my favorite memories is when the Royal’s won the World Series… and every game leading up to that. My friends and I changed the building “Metz” to “Royalz” during the postseason, which was a fun prank that even landed me some extra credit in a class. 😉

royalz

Photo courtesy of Haley Adams

Another memory that I definitely won’t forget is the semester long project I had to do in Promotion Management. I was paired with Britney, Brandon, and Kacie. We had to create an Integrated Marketing Communications plan for the MNU Admissions Department. Specifically, we re-designed SCOUT. After that project, I was offered an internship with the Admissions Department to help launch the new SCOUT idea and also help plan other events.

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This semester, I joined the newspaper editorial staff as Video Editor. I will always remember my time with the people who have become some of my closest friends this semester: Morgan, Sydney, Wyatt, Josh, and Robbie. I will also remember when I showed up to the first meeting, not knowing anyone, and the first thing the editor-in-chief said to me was, “You post too many selfies on your Facebook with Sonic cups.” I’m gonna miss ya, dad.

trailblazer

Photo courtesy of Joshua Brisco

Relating to newspaper, I enjoyed Josh Meme Thursdays, because that meant I had an excuse to find a strange picture of Josh and post it on his timeline.

josh

The sweetest memories I’ll have from this semester are the ones that I shared with my suite mates in Spindle 306. We did a lot of weird things this semester… like buy a Ken doll and name him Chad. And buy a furreal friend cat since we can’t have a real one (his name is Murray… yes, after Chad Michael Murray). We also drink sparkling grape juice out of wine glasses while watching One Tree Hill. And ride Razor scooters around the parking lot at midnight. We love big blankets, Chick-fil-a, HGTV, and each other.

suite

So, that’s my semester in a nutshell. I’ve been blessed with incredible co-workers, professors, roommates, and friends. I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities that MNU has provided me.

Here’s to hoping next semester is even better. :)

-KT

 

Renee DeVault

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December 15, 2015

Is there life after finals?

December 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

Yes.

Let’s just clear that up.

Finals, for all the bad mojo we attribute them, do at least one really good thing. They help us to realize how much we have learned over the semester.

I just want to do a quick review of what I’ve learned this semester. I had to shorten it by quite a bit because life happened this semester and life is hard to summarize.

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Don’t be afraid to be busy.

I was incredibly busy this semester but looking back, I wouldn’t have changed any of it. I had incredible experiences in the Honors Program, on Trailblazer staff, being a track/cross country manager, being in the musical, blogging, being on improv team, and doing classes for two majors.

I loved it.

I learned not to be afraid of being busy. Being busy meant I got to meet an incredible amount of people on this campus and when I look back on the semester I know that I got a lot done.

Coach Wiens, the track/cross country coach, said to me this semester that God gave us our bodies and our minds so that we could use them. That really stuck with me.

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Don’t be afraid to have a little school spirit.

“We’re all in this together,” the elementary school girl who was secretly in love with High School Musical in side of me chants.

I love loving this school. I love investing in our community.

When we are proud of this place and show support it is showing support for not only our athletes but for everyone who works to make the school what we know it to be.

We show pride in our coffee shop workers, library staff, the people who make our food, people who make our campus beautiful, professors, student  and professional workers of all kinds who invest their lives in this school.

I have invested my life into this school and I love others who have invested their lives. So yes, I will be MNU’s super fan and actually enjoy every minute of it.

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Don’t be afraid to date an awesome, hilarious, fun-loving, supportive and generally incredible person.

If you find one you happen to like and they happen to like you as well…well then enjoy it. Go through life with another person who makes you smile and who isn’t afraid to tell you what you don’t want to hear.

Find somebody who is willing to fight with you in order to make a relationship work and somebody who is willing to go through life with you desperately seeking God’s help for every step because neither of you have life quite figured out yet and that’s ok.

Don’t be afraid to have a best friend like that. Don’t be afraid to have a romantic relationship like that. People are awesome and letting them into your life can bring out a part of you that you would have never seen on your own.

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Don’t be afraid of things going wrong.

Stuff happens.

The dumb stuff that you do doesn’t define who you are it just explains a moment of time which shaped you. Little things, big things, it doesn’t matter. Our identity is in Christ and a sea of stupid choices is not even a drop compared to the great grace and love of the God we define ourselves by.

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Don’t be afraid to explore.

My friends and I explored down town Kansas City and it led to a huge passion for ministry in that area being awakened.

Exploring new things, ideas, or places can be a bit un-nerving but it’s something we have to do if we ever want anything new to happen in our lives.

Also just explore Kansas City, it’s really cool down there. Be proud of where we are.

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Don’t be afraid to depend on other people.

We were created in the image of a God who by definition is in community with himself. We were thus created to be in a community, created to need one another and when we operate in a way in which we were created to operate God is glorified.

When doing theater, you have to depend on everybody- actors, costumers, light technicians, sound technicians, back stage crew members, the set designer, the set builders, the director, the stage manager, and anybody else whose work went into the show. In the end, the product is something that was previously impossible individually but made possible by working together and depending on each other.

So I will try to make the most of life after finals by remembering what was learned, what relationships were gained this semester. My prayer for this week is that I will be profoundly thankful for the gift of education and what life I have lived.

 

Renee DeVault

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December 8, 2015

Slaying the Stress Monster

December 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

This week is insane.

It just is.

The week before finals everyone either seems to walk around like zombies who have given up on life or are running around like overly caffeinated squirrels trying to get everything done at the last minute.

I have taken to switching between the two pretty much on the hour.

I would prefer not to talk about the things that are causing me stress (as they are all my fault for putting them off). However, I would absolutely love to talk about the way God has blessed me with ways to keep me sane.

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For example, Gabe stole my phone during lunch earlier in the week. Usually it would have made me upset but looking back on it, and the billions of pictures my poor phone was subjected to, it just really makes me happy that I have such goofy friends.

They constantly do things that make me smile and most of the time they aren’t even trying.

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My friends have really become like a mini campus family. We eat meals together, make fun of each other, support each other, sit in silence and do work, and then make fun of each other some more. We’re living life together. That’s my favorite part of college so far.

I love explaining what I’m learning about in class to them. As a communications major communicating about communication to the people I most often communicate with, it makes me very happy.

I have an unhealthy nerdy obsession with learning, but it’s made even more fun when I can wave my arms around like a crazy person and explain why I am so excited. Even if they don’t think it’s as absolutely fascinating as I do, they at least humor me to let me talk about it. I appreciate that.

I also enjoy the random theological discussions Jordan poses in our group chats or when somebody asks for prayer, or when we’re able to vent about some life frustration that we just need somebody to listen to.

Another awesome stress reliever has been Action Pact, MNU’s improv team.

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Improv is a form of live performance comedy in which  the actors make up everything on the spot, often asking for audience participation. I am on both the main improv team as well as the smaller Serve Team which travels to churches and does shows on weekends.

The main team did a show on Saturday night which was just too fun for words. It was our Christmas show so we got to dress up and many of our sketches had a Christmas theme.

Tickets to the show were $5 and those who came sat at a table in the Black Box theater and enjoyed cookies and hot cocoa.

I love improv because it requires little to no preparation on my part. That means no agonizing over lines, trying to remember where to stand, or making sure my voice or inflection is quite right. I just have to understand the rules of the game and then act on instinct.

I lose track of time when on stage with this team. An hour long show feels like almost five minutes. Not only is it fun to perform, but I also get to watch what hilarious and often awkward things my teammates do.

This kind of performance requires a lot of trust. I have to put myself out there on stage and say whatever I feel needs to be said and I need to be able to trust that they aren’t going to leave me out to dry. They constantly support me and have my back.

I wonder if any studies have been done on if there is a relationship between trust on stage and trust in real life? Or maybe trust on a team (like football or soccer) and trust in real life? I feel like they would subconsciously go together…just a thought. I should look into that.

Isn’t college great? I bet I could ask some professor about that and they would give me six books, a web address, and the name of someone they “have a connection with” who is an expert in the field.

Either way, I find I have gotten closer to members of the improv team by just allowing them to see pure, unadulterated, crazy me.

And they haven’t run off screaming yet so that’s a plus.

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Another great thing about school this year which has really helped me to de-stress is the knowledge that everybody living around me is in the same boat.

We all have finals. We all have to deal with the cold weather and the last minute assignments and the random frustrating bursts of sickness which always come at the worst moments. Even the professors have finals stress. They have to grade assignments and deal with all of us students going to them for last minute help.

It’s kind of nice to go into the library and see a whole flock of poor students frantically doing assignments and coveting the few precious outlets in which to charge their laptops. They understand me when I put down my backpack with a heavy thud and mutter “ugh!”. Often, they join me.

So I guess we all have to learn to help each other out.

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We have to, like my friend Justin does, clear dishes in the caf for our friends because we know it is a way to help them out.

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We have to squeak into town, after going home for the weekend like Alex did, and rush to Bell Center in hopes of hearing the last song of the choir concert that our friends have worked hard to put on.

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And we have to show up in the library when someone says they don’t want to study alone like Jordan did for me earlier today.

We have to take care of each other.

We have to take care of our professors, realize they’re people too. They’re not trying to ruin our lives, they’re just trying to do their jobs. We like when they make life easier for us, we should try our best to make life easier for them.

We are in a community centered around hope and love which comes as a graceful extension of God’s love to us. He never promised us that things would be easy (and really, we have it so easy compared to what some other people are going through right now) but he did promise to never leave us.

So we need to be willing to bring ourselves to God and not forget about him as we have a million other things on our minds.

Staying connected with God will help us to better serve our fellow students, be a blessing to our faculty, and hopefully keep a fragment of our personal sanity.

So that’s the three things I’m praying for this week

1. That I will not forget who really holds me accountable. It’s not my grades that matter in the end, but who I am as a person, and the amount that I have invested in casting my cares on God and trusting him to help me be the best student I can be.

2. That I will remember my fellow students; remember to care about what they’re going through, and not allow myself to think I’m the only person with problems or stresses.

3. That I will remember my professors: remember that they are human beings, like myself, just trying to do their jobs and live a Christ-like life to the best of their ability. I want to remember to trust that they know what they are doing and remember to pray for them in their efforts to help us while still remaining fair.

Best of luck y’all.

Lynsie Petersen

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November 25, 2015

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

November 25, 2015 | By | No Comments

My all-time favorite Thanksgiving themed “movie” is “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”, and it has been for as long as I can remember. The message is just important to me now as it was when I was a little girl: No matter the circumstances, you should always remember to give thanks for what you do have.

Barely 2 minutes into the short film, Charlie Brown’s little sister Sally says the following: “Why should I give thanks on Thanksgiving? What do I have to be thankful for? All it does is make more work for us at school.” and then complains about an essay her teacher asked her to write.

How often do we complain about the little things in life? Or do we question what we have to be thankful for? As Americans, we tend to take things for granted? Like the fact that we live in America and have the freedoms we do.

My mom is in the Air Force and has been deployed twice. My dad was a Marine as well. I’m definitely not the biggest fan of the US government because of this, but I’m still thankful I live in this country and that my parents are willing to give up their lives if needed to protect our country.

I’m just as guilty of the next person for taking the obvious things for granted. The air I breathe, the fact that I have a home and loving parents and (sometimes annoying) siblings, and that I go to college, or that I’m allowed to be writing this blog post. These things seem to be the things I’m supposed to have, but so many people don’t. And that’s why we should be grateful.

I'm thankful for my family, my pets, and the privilege to celebrate Christmas openly.

I’m thankful for my family, my pets, and the privilege to celebrate Christmas openly.

Towards the end of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”, around the 17 minute mark, Peppermint Patty begins complaining that Snoopy and Charlie Brown are serving toast, popcorn, gummy worms, and pretzel sticks for Thanksgiving dinner, more specifically, the Thanksgiving dinner that Peppermint Patty invited herself and two friends to, last minute nonetheless. “Where’s the turkey, Chuck? Don’t you know anything about Thanksgiving dinner? Where’s the mashed potatoes? Where’s the cranberry sauce? Where’s the pumpkin pie?” Next, Marcy reminds Patty that she invited herself over, thus she should be thankful there’s any food at all.

That’s another thing I take for granted, having food every day, multiple times a day. I do complain about Campus Center, but at least we have Campus Center. It may not be Chick-fil-a or Chipotle, but at least a source of daily nourishment is offered. When I go home for the weekends (which I’m blessed with the ability to do), there’s always food in the cupboard and fridge, and a good chunk of America doesn’t have that luxury.

The “movie” rounds out with Charlie Brown’s grandmother doing what any grandma does: invites the unfed friends of Charlie and Sally to Thanksgiving at her condominium. Snoopy and Woodstock share their Thanksgiving meal and all is well.

I'm also thankful for my decor-crazed mother and brother. Our yard looks awesome!

I’m also thankful for my decor-crazed mother and brother. Our yard looks awesome!

So take a minute and be thankful for what you have because it could all be ripped away from you in a flash of an eye. And if the opportunity arises, be like Charlie Brown’s grandmother and invite someone over for your Thanksgiving feast. They may need it more than you think.

What are you thankful for? Comment below and let’s all share in the blessings! :)

Renee DeVault

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November 23, 2015

Success Mushroom

November 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

I can’t sing. I am not a musical person. My friends are musical people but I was not given that gift.

I can art…sometimes. People tell me I can art but I won’t attempt to draw something that I’ve never drawn before because people might look at it and realize I’m not very good at arting after all.

I am as good of a Christian as I am ever going to be. I have a certain ability to understand and experience God and I should be content with where I am.

These were statements that I believed about myself about a week ago which I am currently being forced to question due to Dr. Hayse’s annoying habit of actually making his students think.

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In Honors Seminar we are reading Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck in which she asserts that qualities such as intelligence, artistic ability, athletic ability, leadership, and relational ability are not fixed, something one has a certain amount of or none of, but are rather able to grow and develop in a person.

She calls this the Growth Mindset.

Basically if I believe that I am fixed with a certain amount of smart then I will back away from anything that would be challenging because failure would mean a forced identity redefinition. However, in my growth mindset, I see my intelligence as something I can grow by challenging myself, seeking to collaborate with others, and working my butt off.

The book helped me to realize that in the area of intelligence, I was following right along with the growth mindset. If I had read only the first three chapters I would have been totally fine.

But Dr. Hayse made us read the whole book.

The rest of it went on to say that the idea of seeking new challenges, collaborating, and having a good work ethic could be applied to sports, art, music, management, parenting, and teaching.

I was caught in my “I’m not good at music” mindset and despite having a beautiful guitar and a love of music, have stopped trying because I believed the amount of musical talent I had was all I will ever have. If I believe I can grow this ability by challenging myself, asking my musical friends for help, and working at it, perhaps I can enjoy playing again.

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Probably the most fascinating aspect was her thoughts on relationships. I’ll use Quinn (Quinndonesia, Quinnifer Aniston, Bi-Quinning, Quinntervention, To inQuinnity and beyond, the Quinncredible Hulk) as my example.

If I believe that relationships are either good or bad then the moment Quinn and I have a fight I would think that our relationship was inherently bad and thus would avoid any and every possible disagreement for fear of proving our relationship wasn’t as “good” as I had thought.

She called out fairy tales for making “good” relationships look like if they weren’t “meant to be” then they were bad. While I believe that it is true that God has people planned for us to marry, I don’t want to get trapped into thinking that the relationship with my God ordained man will be perfect.

With a growth mindset for relationships, disagreements and fights are seen as opportunities for improvement.

If I have a fixed mindset I may think that some annoying habit Quinn has is unfixable and thus a deal breaker while a growth mindset would refuse to define Quinn by this hypothetical habit and be willing to communicate my feelings about it.

I can’t cognitively imagine having a relationship with anybody without this mindset yet I’ve fallen into the trap of it several times. Luckily by the grace of God and Quinn a fixed mindset has not prevailed.

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The book did not address spirituality but I feel as though I must because it is the area in which it hit me the hardest. I was raised in a Christian house, went to every Sunday school, every VBS, interned at my church three times, and now am a Theology major. Despite all of this I catch myself feeling so depressed about my spiritual life sometimes.

After reading this book, I began to wonder if I think of my Christianity as something fixed. “I can only experience God so much” or “I can only understand so much of the Bible”. If I start letting myself think “I’m about as good as I can get” then I stop trying to get better, stop digging, stop looking for challenging material and stop asking God to come into my life.

I don’t want to get stuck in that mindset.

I want to want to grow. I want to seek new ideas and a deeper experience. I don’t want to be afraid to dive into difficult ideas in the Old Testament or spend hours of my day in prayer.

I don’t want to view others as judging if I am a good Christian or not. I want to view people as allies, fellow travelers in mutually helpful relationships.

I think that is the point of me being in the Honors Program: to grow an intellectual passion for learning, not only in academics but in all areas of life.

To relate it to video games: you have to actively seek the growth mindset mushroom in order to grow to your full potential, and even when you fail and feel small again, be willing to keep seeking again.

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What I’m praying for this week:

That a growth mindset will be fostered in both my own life and in the lives of others in regards to passionate intentionality in walking with Christ. We can decide to give all we can to growth in Christ with the knowledge that where we are not isn’t where we are condemned to always be.

 

Isaac Walker

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November 23, 2015

MNU Serve Team

November 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

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Hey friends!

This past weekend was a pretty wild weekend for me, a few other MNU students, and a whole bunch of teens!  The youth groups of Grace Community Church of the Nazarene and KC First Church of the Nazarene left Friday evening and came together to have a joint fall retreat in Oklahoma.  And I am still exhausted!  Also a little sick…But it was totally worth it!  We saw God move this weekend and it was awesome!

The theme for the weekend was Christ Like Leadership.  The first night, Angie from First Church spoke about dealing with our pride, and as leaders, we should be willing to do whatever we ask of those we are leading.

I went as a sponsor with Grace Community and I also played on the worship team with other students from MNU. There were 8 MNU students total that went on this retreat.  Lizzy Atwell, Amanda Lampley, Thomson and Chi Ticum, Blake Owings, Mark Hall, and I were on the band. Maddie Carson came as well and was a sponsor. Lizzy, Blake and I were also sponsors for Grace Community.

MNU gang minus Maddie.

MNU gang minus Maddie.

On Saturday, our very own Blake spoke!  He told the story of Moses and when we are Christians, we are automatically called to be leaders.

We had a lot of free time Saturday between meals and services just to hang out and get to know each other.  There were a few different activities we could do. A lot of people played soccer, some played gaga ball, and others played basket ball.  But one of the most fun things we did was the massive zip line.  After we all got our harnesses on, we walked over to a suspended bridge.  Now I don’t really have a fear of heights but there were a few people there (Mark Hall) who were pretty scared!  I almost fell just from how hard I was laughing!

The suspended bridge.

The suspended bridge.

Once we made it across the bridge we had to walk up a massive, rocky hill to the tower.  It was about that time I noticed how cold it was.  And the farther we went up the tower the windier it got. It was ridiculous how windy it ended up being at the top!  It was worth it though because it was so fun!

Walking to the tower.

Walking to the tower.

Our youth group ready for the zip line!

Our youth group ready for the zip line!

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Sunday, we all woke up early, had breakfast, and went over to the chapel for the final service.  There Roland, who is the youth pastor for KC First Church spoke.  The sermons were all great.  We are fortunate to know these gifted people who are passionate for knowing God and delivering His word, but I got the most from a conversation I had with an old friend.

I worked at a summer camp two summers ago in Colorado.  When I walked into the mess hall for the first time, I saw someone that looked familiar.  Her name was Danielle and she was on my team when I was in Colorado!  I was so excited to see her!  During free time on Saturday I went over to her room and we drank coffee and caught up on life.  I opened up to her about how my life after working in Colorado hasn’t turned out the way I expected and how it was actually a pretty hard time for me and my family.  She told me her story, her struggles and how her life before working in Colorado was turned upside down.  She said something to me that really resonated.  She said “You can tell God you are mad with Him.  He already knows, but it is good to get it out on the table.”  She then went on to say that when we do that, we allow God to walk with us through these trials.  Our conversation really meant a lot to me.

Overall, even though I feel pretty awful now, the retreat was a really good escape from life and school. Even though it was only a few days.  I know I’m not the only one that got something good from it.

The whole GC gang...

The whole GC gang…

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No caption needed.

Until next time friends!