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Friends - 5/16 - MNU Blogs

Haley Raydo


February 23, 2015

A Month of Pictures

February 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

I sat down to my computer just now, drawing up a blank.  Like all the creativity just left my mind.  I don’t know what it is about the pressure of a computer and a deadline that pulls all the creative flow out of my mind.  Regardless, computers and deadlines are a part of an education.  Actually they are a part of life.  So I just gotta get my head in this blog game… woo.

I thought I would just share some fun happenings this last month in pictures:

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Bridge w: Randi

KU game- Kayla

(KU game this weekend against TCU)

randi jenner pioneer

(vote Randi Jenner Pioneer Spirit)

me and dan

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(I get to nanny these boys again)

modeling re group

(Bridal event at Restoration Emporium, Picture Kia Bondurant, Clothes Encore boutique)

Pretty good month so far :)

Thanks for stopping by



Samantha Moore


February 17, 2015

Be: A Big Girl

February 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

Graduation is right around the corner and I could not be more excited since I now have a full time job lined up! Target has always been my favorite place to go for anything and now I will be working there on a daily basis!

PITT weekend


This is a picture from Pitt State this past weekend! Top right is my best friend Kelsey, then in the bottom left in the blonde is Hannah who goes there and her best friend to the left in the dark hair Delany. Such a great weekend with these 3!!


Katie Linsey


February 17, 2015


February 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

Okay… so it wasn’t really a “snowpocalypse,” but we were excited for the snow.

Here’s a short little video showcasing how my friends celebrated.


Mariah McCommon


February 15, 2015

“Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future”

February 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

I mentioned in my blog last week about this cool conference called M15 that I had the privilege to attend. This conference takes place every four years in different places. The fact that it was in Kansas City this year and I was able to go as a freshman was an incredible blessing!

My friend Jaque and I left Monday afternoon and headed to downtown Kansas City. MNU took care of most of the costs: hotel, the conference, and lunch on Tuesday. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel. There’s 28 floors to that thing and we were on the 17th. I despise elevators to no end because I made the mistake of watching Devil on Halloween one year, but there was no way I was climbing 17 flights of stairs. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make. BI love any form of adventure I can get, and being from the country, tall buildings and busy traffic is something to get used to. I’m still not used to Olathe traffic so I hardly ever go anywhere that I have to drive to.

The conference started off with a service Monday evening after dinner and registration. There were five services total with six workshop sessions available. I went to 4 workshops and by the time I left, my brain hurt from all the information. The first one was “Capturing the Hispanic Heart.” Since I plan to be a missionary in a Hispanic country, the workshop touched on how to interact with Hispanics and fully accept their culture.

The next session was called “Hospitable Church.” Shawna, pastor and leader of the session, talked about why the younger generation is falling away from the church. I’ve been wondering about this topic for awhile now and the reasons vary, but the “Y” generation feels relationally detached from the church once they graduate high school. The funny thing is, I am writing a paper for Comp II about this very topic. The information I obtained I am definitely using in my paper. I’m excited about that.

Each service, a different speaker spoke. My favorite was Cheryl Sanders. She was hilarious and you could tell she was on fire for God. She also spoke on the subject of younger generations, but that was pretty much the theme for the conference, hence the motto “Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future.”

The last workshop I went to had to do with a controversial topic in today’s society: “What to do when a congregant member says, “I’m Gay!” I’ve been curious myself as to how to handle these situations throughout my everyday life. Without getting too much into what was said, it was a great discussion. The panel of people was helpful in the way that different viewpoints were shared.


Panel of pastors from different churches

I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I had to go to this conference. As much fun as it is to be at MNU, being able to skip a couple days of class, not wearing shower shoes, eating at Chipotle and going to Starbucks was definitely a great time. Surprisingly, I ended up getting to bed earlier too. Each night I try to reflect back on my day and figure out what I can do differently the next day. Monday night, there was this beautiful sunset. It was one of those sunsets that was so beautiful that a phone can’t quite capture all of its beauty. I see God in every sunset and I knew when I saw that one that He was ever so present throughout the conference. He hasn’t left me yet either. I hope to attend many more of these conferences in the future. If you would like to know more about the M15 conference:


I hope you guys have a fantastic week. Thanks for reading!! :)

Katie Linsey


February 13, 2015

Balancing an Unbalanced Life

February 13, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

What does a balanced life look like?

I honestly couldn’t tell you, because I don’t have one.

I used to think that my life had to be balanced. That I had to have a set schedule. That I had to have everything together.

Being in college has forced me to realize that I don’t have to have a balanced life, and certainly that it’s nearly impossible to have one.

If I told you my priorities, showed you my calendar, and then you saw how my days actually played out, you would be very confused. But that’s okay, because it used to confuse me too.

I used to think because I couldn’t “get my life together” that I was a failure. I thought I was doing everything wrong and I didn’t know how to suddenly start doing everything right.

My top priorities in life include spending quality time with Jesus, doing my schoolwork, and living a healthy lifestyle. However, those priorities don’t always make it into every day of my life. It stinks to say that, but it’s true.

There are days when I don’t open my Bible. There are days when I don’t open my backpack. There are days when I don’t workout.

…and I think that’s okay.

Life isn’t about checking things off of a to-do list or having enough time to do everything or beating yourself up when your day didn’t go as planned.

Life is about recognizing what’s important to you and finding purpose in everything you do.

Life is about waking up every morning and handing your day to God.

Here’s the prayer I pray every morning before I even get out of bed or check my phone:


I give my day to You… do whatever You want with it.

Give me opportunities to glorify You. Create divine appointments.

Give me strength and energy to get through this day.

I can’t do this alone.”

I’m not saying it’s bad to make plans and have to-do lists. I have both of those, and they help me immensely. I’m simply saying that when we hand our days over to God and live to glorify Him, we don’t need to worry about having a “balanced” life. God works through the chaos, stress, anxiety, and fear. He’s glorified in all of it when we let Him take the wheel.

God’s plan for your day may not be the same as your plan for your day.

We gotta listen to God and be intentional.

Through that, we’ll make memories.

… and REALLY live.


Luther Okeyo


February 10, 2015

The Willmer Family

February 10, 2015 | By | No Comments

Willmer Family @ Arrowhead

The Willmer family after our 21-17 thriller win over #2 Missouri Valley at the defeat all cancer game at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Willmers are a pretty cool family. You have Coach Willmer  and his wife Lindsay, Emma (12) who is on the left, Addie Joy (10) on the right, Titus (6) who is wearing the Rangers shirt, and the twins Gwenyth & Nehemiah (4). I can honestly say I have never met another family like them.

First of all you have the twins Gwenyth & Nehemiah. Gwenyth is a little fireball of energy and don’t worry you’ll see what I mean in the video. She wouldn’t have let me leave her house until I played hide and seek with her and she is pretty good so I was at a disadvantage from the start. She loves to say amen a lot and she is so adorable.I can’t forget her twin Nehemiah, this guy looks like a future pioneer in the making. He reminds me a lot of myself back in the day. Except he has way more energy than I ever did when I was his age. Where do they store this energy? He isn’t a shy kid and I dare to sit down and talk to him for a few minutes and not fall in love with him. He is just too cool.

Next, you have Titus. I can’t really figure him out. In the video I don’t think Titus said three words, but after I done shooting the video, boy did he have things to say. I played UNO with him, Coach Willmer, and Lindsay. He is NOT a nice UNO play. I can’t tell you how many times he hit me with a draw 4, or skipped my turn. Once Titus has you down in UNO, he will never let you back up. Titus along with his family love MNU and football, but you can tell he just loves them both a little more.


Here is Titus playing with my Wide Receiver coach Matt George after our win against Benedictine.

Finally you have the two older sisters of Emma, and Addie Joy. Emma is like a second mom, and she takes care of the younger kids like good older sister should. She loves to read and I could tell she is really into school. Also she loves that Kansas is lower-key than California. Addie Joy is also big into school. She is a very soft spoken, and person. Trust me I can attest to that, through the many hours I spent editing the video trying to get her voice to be louder. These girls were so nice and really went out of their way to make sure like I was apart of the family. They are great role models for their younger siblings as they all grow and mature together.

Emma and Addie Joy enjoying the game at Arrowhead.

Emma and Addie Joy enjoying the game at Arrowhead.

Last semester I had the opportunity to interview Coach Willmer and his family for the MNU newspaper… The Trailblazer. It was an amazing experience and I was able to see a side of coach that most people wouldn’t be able to see. For example: you never want to play UNO with Coach Willmer trust me you just don’t. Anyway before I even began the interview, coach stopped me and we proceeded to have dinner. After dinner I played hide and seek with his kids and UNO with whole family. It was an awesome time, I had so much fun that I almost forgot about the whole reason I went to go see coach and his family in the first place. I ended up making a video of the interview I had with Coach Willmer and his family. The video should be up by the end of the week, I’d love to just show the video but my hands are tied. Don’t worry though, I have some outtakes and things that didn’t make the final cut.

For example: like when Coach Willmer and his wife were almost on a pilot for an HGTV show.

Also I caught I little touching moment between a father and his son.

Finally, I had coach and his family talk about the difference between MNU and Azusa Pacific. Azusa was the school where he was previously coaching at. He was the defensive coordinator.

The Willmers are a pretty cool family. You have Coach Willmer  and his wife Lindsay, Emma (12) who is on the left, Addie Joy (10) on the right, Titus (6) who is wearing the Rangers shirt, and the twins Gwenyth & Nehemiah (4). I can honestly say I have never met another family like them.

First of all you have Gwenyth, she is a little fireball of energy and don’t worry you’ll see what I mean in the video. She wouldn’t have let me leave her house until I played hide and seek with her and she is pretty good so I was at a disadvantage from the start. She loves to say amen a lot and she is so adorable.

I can’t forget her twin Nehemiah, this guy looks like a future pioneer in the making. He reminds me a lot of myself back in the day.

Aaron Merrell


February 1, 2015

Identity Crisis

February 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey everyone!

This week, I’m going to talk about identity.

My personal statement/motto for 2015 is Galatians 1:10:

“Am I now trying to get people to think well of me? Or do I want God to think well of me? Am I trying to please people? If I were, I would not be serving Christ.”

I have had to learn not to spend time worrying about what others think of me. It’s important to listen to others’ advice, especially close family and friends, but ultimately I live for the Savior, and I’m looking for His approval only.

It’s important to remember in who our identity is found in; in Christ alone.

So, if someone puts you down, talks behind your back, or makes you feel generally crappy, instead of wasting energy and breath on ignorant people, focus that energy on celebrating your identity as a child of God.

That’s it, y’all.


Katie Linsey


January 29, 2015


January 29, 2015 | By | One Comment

The past few days, my friend Ashton has had bronchitis, so she’s been taking lots of Nyquil. In case you were wondering, Nyquil doesn’t set well with Ashton. Although it makes her feel better, she often says strange things and doesn’t remember what happened the next morning. Here’s a few tweets and text messages to illustrate the craziness that has been happening on the first floor of Stockton Courtside since this sickness invaded.





So, as you can see, it’s been a fun and interesting few days with Ashton in a permanent Nyquil-induced mood. But, in all seriousness, Ashton is an amazing friend that I know will be around forever. Here’s some proof that she’s a supportive, encouraging friend beyond compare.




You all should get to know her if you already don’t.

The friends I’ve met at college have blessed me in SO MANY WAYS. Wow. God is good.

Have a beautiful weekend, lovely people!


Mariah McCommon


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:

Katie Linsey


January 22, 2015


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!