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Katie Linsey

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October 16, 2014

Metamorphosis

October 16, 2014 | By | No Comments

I’m a firm believer that God uses His creation to speak to us and teach us. My favorite thing to do is go out in nature and spend time in His presence. My heart always expects Him to show up, and He always does.

A few weeks ago, God used the idea of metamorphosis to remind me that I have been transformed. When I gave myself to Christ, I gained a new identity.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV)

I was walking back from dinner one night with some friends and found a huge green caterpillar crossing the sidewalk. Long story short, it ended up in my dorm room inside a Starbucks cup. The next morning, I woke up to find it inside its cocoon.

That day in my Environmental Biology class, we spent the entire period catching and tagging Monarch butterflies. I couldn’t stop thinking about my caterpillar and how it was going to completely transform into a butterfly (or a moth) in a few weeks.

“How is that even possible? How does a caterpillar make itself a cocoon, live in it for weeks, and then come out with wings and fly away?”

There were so many questions running through my mind, and as I would stare at my caterpillar’s cocoon in my room, I couldn’t help but think that this is a metaphor for our lives.

The moment that I fully surrendered myself to Christ and decided I wasn’t going to live for myself anymore was the day that I was completely transformed. Sure, I looked the same on the outside, but not on the inside. The way I lived my life from then on was completely different… and still is.

My priorities changed. My friends changed. My schedule changed. My desires changed. My passions changed. Everything changed.

As I look at the cocoon in my room and then walk outside to see Monarchs flying around campus, I am filled with joy knowing that Christ has the power to transform us into new and beautiful creations. It doesn’t matter where you came from or where you are now. God has the power to transform anyone.

A lot of people think my fascination with nature is weird. I could watch bugs crawl around for hours. I love collecting leaves because I think they’re so cool. I enjoy laying down in the grass, not even caring about how many bug bites I’ll get. I’m not really scared of bees because I think they’re pretty. When I find something in nature that I’ve never seen before, I will most likely try to find out what it is… and it’ll bother me if I don’t. I think nature is an adventure.

I love nature so much because it’s the rawest form of God’s creation. I have come to know and understand Him more deeply by spending time in His work of art. He creates and cares for the smallest, seemingly insignificant aspects of this earth. I think that’s awe-inspiring.

My challenge to you this week is to set aside time to be in nature and let your mind wander. Talk to God and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Bring a journal and doodle or write about what you experience. Bring your Bible and read your favorite Bible verse. Enjoy the moment.

I hope you’ll set aside time to do this, and if you do, I want to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment sharing about your experience. I promise you won’t regret it!

-KT

My caterpillar crawling on my homework. He’s so cute!

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My caterpillar’s home. (He made his cocoon before we could transfer him to an actual bug cage.)

Haley Raydo

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October 12, 2014

Advice Session 4: Take Your Walk to the Next Level

October 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

Now if you know anything about me you will know that I love to give advice.  I mean LOVE it.  That is in fact what I am studying to be (I am majoring in psych because I want to be a counselor).  I am really passionate about seeing people come into their own potential in what God wants to do in their lives.

So if you have read any of my blogs last year I did a few Advice Sessions so I thought why not? (shoulder shrug).

I wanted to give you a few things that have really helped me grow in my faith.  Obviously there are reading your Bible, praying, going to church– the basics– but these are the things that have helped me grow beyond the mediocre and what I would advise any one of my friends.  So here are a couple:

1.  Taking time out of my day to sit and be quiet.  I have so much noise in my life– talking and listening, classes and studying, working and interacting, music and my slight obsession with Grey’s Anatomy (don’t watch it if you want to be or continue to be a diligent student). Even when I am praying I am quick to talk and not listen and be quiet.  I think we miss out on God sometimes because we are not quiet enough or slowed down enough to wait and listen.

2.  Join a small group! Seriously they are great! I was in one my freshman year here at MNU and again this semester.  They have helped me grow so much in the last couple years.  From being able to being accountable and being consistent, to building community and fellowship–they are all important.  ALSO MNU has several great ones! Gert involved in that community aspect of this school!

3.  Surrounding myself with people who encourage me and bring positive and godly life!  Don’t underestimate the power of some godly friends.  Through any situation they are there and they are great.

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4.  Walk out in the gifts God has given you.  I think so often I am quick to pass up on opportunities, or I think God won’t use me.  Or I think I am only limited to a particular gift God has given– but then I put God in a box.. By praying and figuring out my gifts I have been given, and working on letting them develop by using them– I have grown so much more! Don’t just sit around asking God to fill you when He has already given you gifts and wants you to step out and use them to serve one another.

This is a piece of song I am working on (This is me trying to step out in the gifts God has given me) and it has to do with point of in not forgetting your first love.

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5.  Finally the lesson I am learning this year– if you do all these things: join small groups, surround yourself with good influences, walk out in service and gifts that challenge you and take you to the next level– but forget the very reason you will lose it.  Don’t forget your first love

This is just some practical advice from my own experience that has helped me take my walk to the next level.  Hope it helps you too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Luther Okeyo

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October 11, 2014

Once In a Lifetime Opportunity

October 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Every now and then you get to do something extraordinary. Today I, along with the rest of the MNU football team have the privileged to play in the first annual NAIA Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium. (YES! BABY, WHERE THE CHIEFS PLAY!!!) It’s also the first “Defeat all Cancer Game.” It was inspired by our offensive coordinator, Bruce Pielstick.

Bruce Pielstick, whose wife of 27 years succumbed to bladder cancer just seven months ago, came up with the idea to designate the upcoming game "Defeat All Cancer."

Coach Pielstick, lost his wife of 27 years to bladder cancer earlier this year. He was the one who came up with the idea to designate the upcoming game “Defeat All Cancer.”

This is a chance to not only play football, but it is a chance to affect people’s lives. There is an article on this game:MNU’s Arrowhead game declared ‘Defeat All Cancer’ game. Every player on the MNU football team who will be on the field today will be representing someone who has been affected or is still affected by cancer. We are going to be wearing colors the represent each cancer. Today I’m going to represent my aunt Taby Mutuku.

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This my aunt Tabi, and one of her sons (everybody calls him Jo Jo). She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer earlier this year. Luckily they caught it early enough and she had the surgery to remove the cancer last month. It’s amazing to see how strong she is and no matter what happened during this ordeal, she remained faithful and she better care of me than I did of her and I wasn’t the one who had cancer. Her courage was so amazing and through the grace of God, she was able to be healed and now she’s fully steam ahead.

As you can see from the video above, this is so much more than a game. It our chance to change lives, to show people that they are not in this struggle alone. That there are people who are praying for them, people who have been in through their struggles and through us, their fight with cancer has reached a whole new level.

As for the game itself, it still hasn’t hit me that we get to play at Arrowhead Stadium yet.

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The hallowed field of Arrowhead Stadium, there is so much history in this stadium from Super Bowl V and the star QB Len Dawson, the sack master Derrick Thomas, and to the Mr. Everything Jamal Charles. They all have added so much to this field, and today I get to make my little mark on this field as well.

Today we are going to the NFL player experience. We are technically the home team, so we get to dress up in the chiefs locker room. We get basically full access to the whole stadium. We go in through the players entrance, and the Seniors get introduced before the game. Also we are playing our rival Missouri Valley, They are the #7 team in the nation right now, and everyone is counting us out of this game. Hey, it’s a rivalry game and you never know what could happen in a rivalry game. We are going to shock the world today, all while changing people’s lives in the process. I still can’t believe all this happening but it’s going to be an amazing experience.

Haley Raydo

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October 5, 2014

#BeRoyalKC

October 5, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

I can not even begin to describe my excitement this week has held for me!  As a sports fan born and raised in Kansas City, the last several years have been rather disappointing.  Between the Chiefs and the Royals, a few tears have been shed, several screams of frustration have escaped, and an every once and awhile throwing of an object, have been spread throughout my lifetime.  The only news of glory from my KC sports teams were stories my dad, uncles, and grandpas liked to talk about.

And just within this last week, the Royals… THE Kansas City Royals, ended their 29 year drought of playoff appearances!  And everyone reading this goes wild! I mean seriously this gets me emotional. I have literally been waiting my ENTIRE life (and some) years to see the Royals do ANYTHING.

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So when I was reflecting on this week and what I was to write about, this was pretty much the only thing that came to mind. I mean people across MNU campus were tweeting, yelling, and cheering.  Talk about some excitement!

Now to relate this post back to something practical (especially for those of you who aren’t sports fans) I wondered what it would be like if people would spend as much time and as much excitement on the Lord as they did about the Royals ending their drought.  I mean people are spending hundreds of dollars on tickets, posting thousands of posts on social media, and cheering and yelling to wake everyone in their dorm up, staying up late watching the long extensive games, and carrying conversations with friends and strangers about last nights game.

Now none of this bad, if it was I am in trouble… BUT I think there is a point to be said there.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in something (it may not be sports for you) but so many times we forget to get wrapped up in the very thing that brought us here to begin with.  If we would just take the time to stay up and listen and sit in his glory, tithe a little of our money once a month, post on social media about all what God has done in your life instead of complaining, and having conversations with friends and strangers about the Lord, our world would look so different!  Our ministry, our churches, our lives, and our relationships would look different!

Sometimes it just takes little steps… Maybe start spending 15 minutes of your day with the Lord and go on from there.

This doesn’t mean you can’t stay up late watching the games and tweeting your little hearts out about the Royals (believe me I still will be… you can catch it all @haleyraydo) but maybe next time you sit down to watch the Royals or whatever it may be you get excited about, remember the Lord and His goodness.  And remember to take that relationship one step further than the I go to church on Sundays, pray before meals, and sit in a Christian beliefs class kind of level.

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

(Go Royals!)

Mariah McCommon

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October 5, 2014

Oceans

October 5, 2014 | By | No Comments

As you may already know, I am an Intercultural Studies major which is part of the Ministry program here at MNU. This weekend I had the opportunity to go with my Intro to Ministry class on a retreat not too far from campus. Although we weren’t there long, the experience was transforming and it really opened my eyes.

First, this place was awesome. They had a beautiful sanctuary, rooms like a hotel, and it was incredibly peaceful. The first main event we did was about half an hour of silent time where each student went off on their own to a place to be alone with God. My favorite place to go for Jesus time is outside. I love the outdoors. The breeze to me represents the Holy Spirit. And it was sure present during my personal time alone with God. I’m not going to lie, I bawled like a baby. I’m really thankful for that time I had because I felt God wrap His arms around me. By the time I had to leave, I felt relief and at peace with everything.

Next, we transitioned into some light-hearted, fun games like speed dating (awkward but hilarious) and the “clump” game. Weird, I know, but it was like, so much fun! The object of it was to see how many people are interested in the same things. For example, the professor calls out, “If you prefer dogs, clump to the left, if you like cats, clump to the right, if you just don’t care, stand in the middle and look pretty.” We all got to know each other pretty quickly and had tons of fun with it.

On a more serious note, one of our professors had us make little booklets of our lives. We were to choose four main events leading up to present day and draw a picture that symbolizes the event. The point of the exercise was to share our story with a group. The key theme in each of our stories was that God always has a plan. Though we may not realize it at the time, His timing is never off. That’s when our ability to trust Him is tested. I was inspired by the strength I saw in the people around me. I hope I can be as strong as them someday.

Wrapping up the retreat today, we partook in a life-altering experience after our mini chapel service. We wrote our burdens, our pain, names of people who have wronged us, or experiences we’ve bottled up for so long down on a blank sheet of paper and we crumpled it up into a ball as hard as we could and threw it in the trash. I let go of my past, the pain, and I asked for forgiveness and also forgave myself. This was my favorite activity because for once in a long time, I let it all go. I returned to campus with a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and now I feel like a new woman!

We all know the song “Oceans” by Hillsong. And if not, here are some of the lyrics…


Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oceans || Hillsong UNITED


This song has been running through my mind today and it’s always a nice reminder that when you struggle, whenever you feel down, whenever you just want to cry, God’s got you. He’s always had you. Trust in Him with all of you and He will provide. His timing is never off, even if we may not understand it.

I love you guys and hope you have a splendid week ahead!

MInistry Retreat

Headed to the retreat!

 

Heather Engle

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April 21, 2014

Car Problems, Jesus, and Finals

April 21, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

So this past weekend was Easter! Most people on campus went home for the holiday, but that wasn’t the case for me. I actually have had some car troubles this past weekend. This was kind of a bummer for me because I would have liked to go home and see my family over the weekend, but I’ve definitely been learning a lot through it. Not having a car has opened my eyes a lot to how much I depend on it. I have had to ask people to drive me places more during this past week than I ever have had to during this past year. I definitely have learned that I need to not take things for granted so easily. Compared to most people in the world, I am extremely fortunate.

I also want to share with you guys what Easter means to me.

Bunnies, and candy, and Easter eggs. :]

No, those are all great things, obviously. Who doesn’t love those things? But the real meaning of Easter rests on the Truth of Jesus Christ. He came to this earth, was crucified, and rose again to show us this indescribable love. I can testify to this in my own life that this is the truth. The cross of Christ has bore my sins and has given me new life in Him. He has not only transformed my life here on earth, but he has also given me eternal life with Him after this earthly life.

I went to a worship service the other night and they played the song “Nothing Holding Me Back” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt. If you haven’t heard this song, please go listen to it! What I take from this song is thankfulness and gratefulness for what Jesus has done for us. The chorus says:

Nothing is holding me back from you,

Redeemer of my soul,

now nothing can hold me back from you,

your love will never let me go.

I absolutely love this song because it reminds me of the verse in Romans that says:

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who love us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:37-39

We are more than conquerors because of what Christ has done for us. What an amazing message that is. This is why I have hope.

This is the reason for the joy in my life.

So I just thought I’d be real with you guys about what I believe and I thought it was fitting to tell you all these things because of the Easter season. :] I hope this gave you some sort of hope or encouragement. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to say anything!

Also, a little about MNU. I went to a baseball game at Graceland in Iowa this weekend and we dominated. So that’s pretty great! I also went to an Easter service on Sunday at Living Hope Church and there were multiple people that attend this church that were baptized at the end of the service. It was a wonderful celebration. :] After church Lisa Downs, who I mentioned in one of my blogs before this, invited some people over for a Easter Sunday lunch. I felt entirely blessed to be able to have these people in my life and spend Easter with them. It also helped that the food was amazing. :] finals week is coming up as well and I can just tell you now, there will be LOTS of coffee runs and late nights.

But I’m ready for it. Bring it on. :]

Have a wonderful Monday my friends,

-Heather Rose :]

Heather Engle

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April 14, 2014

17 days!!

April 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello Friends!

I came to the realization today that my freshman year of college is almost over. It’s insane to think about how fast this first year has gone. The feeling is bittersweet! I know there are going to be many exciting things to come in the near future, but it’s crazy how fast these good times have gone by. So yes, there are 17 more days left until summer, counting the weekends. I am SO very excited to finish off the school year and head into more adventures these next couple of months. I am definitely striving to finish strong with my school work and every other responsibility I have until this summer takes off. These next couple of weeks are going to be pretty crazy! I’m sure I’m not the only one with a busy schedule this week though! It seems that everyone I’ve talked to lately is pretty swamped. But we can do it!! :] only a couple weeks left!

On a lighter note, God has done some super cool things with the clouds lately, so I thought I would share with you guys the beauty that I’ve seen this week! :]

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This was all in the time span of one week! God is so creative and I am in awe of His beauty! :]

Well friends, If you’re finishing up these next two weeks like I am, keep going! Don’t give up cause you’re almost done! :] Also, remember just how beautiful God is. He is the creator of all things and is worthy of our worship. I have also been reminded lately that if we don’t take the chance to worship God for who he is, the rocks and the trees will. That’s how mighty He is. :] remember that this week.

Until next time,

-Heather Rose :]

Heather Engle

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April 6, 2014

an MNU filled weekend

April 6, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

So I just want to brag on our faculty here at MNU for a second. First of all, they are loving, caring, kind, fun, funny, and really want to be a part of your life. I say this because I went to a baseball game this weekend with Lisa Downs and we had a blast! There were also many other faculty members there that made it so fun. I also love that they come and support us at whatever it is we are doing. I always see faculty and staff at sporting events, choir shows and many other events that are held at here. Lisa is the Director of Undergraduate Admissions at MNU. First off, she offered to drive to the baseball game, (It was about 20 minutes away from MNU). So she drove me, then in-between the two games we went to Quick Trip, she bought me some tea, some giant chewy sweet-tarts, (which are amazing by the way, (I had never had them before so she convinced me to try them) and she’s just a blast to be around. I know she really cares about me and I am so grateful to be in a place that has faculty and staff that have an interest in the things going on in my life. It is a huge blessing. :]

Also, just this morning I got to go to Junction City Church of the Nazarene to lead the church in worship! This wasn’t just a worship team from MNU going to this church though, there were about 30 of us representing Mid-America! We all had a wonderful time and the people at the church were so loving and welcoming towards us.

Here are some pictures of the baseball game and church this morning!:

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This is who I sat with at the game on Saturday! From left to right is Lisa, me, Laurie, and Becca. :]

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This is all of the students who traveled to Junction City today attempting to take a photo (Note: I’m the only one looking at the camera, and I’m also standing very awkwardly)

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This one is A LOT better. :]

Well guys, I hope you have a better view of what it’s like to be apart of things here at MNU just by reading this. :] Only a couple more weeks and then summer will be here! I CAN’T WAIT.

Until next time,

-Heather Rose :]

Heather Engle

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April 1, 2014

antiqueing and sports

April 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello blog readers!

So if you don’t know this about me, I love to go to antique stores. I know a lot of them back home, but I haven’t had the chance to really roam around the Olathe/Kansas City area to find any within a good distance of MNU. This past weekend, I had the chance to roam. I went to an antique store called Lone Elm Antique Mall. From the outside it doesn’t look like a huge store, but on their flyer that I took after I roamed through this place, it says that have over 120 booths filled with antiques and various vintage things.

I know to some who are reading this, antiques might not be of any interest to you, but if you like to go to antique stores like me, are going to be living in Olathe, already live in Olathe, or attend MNU, this is a great one to go to! :] I also went to a baseball game this past weekend (picture below of my friends and I). It was a little chilly, but we managed with a blanket!  I wish I would have taken a picture of the baseball field, or part of the game, but I didn’t even think about it! (Sorry guys). I also went to our final four game for our basketball team! Our student section was getting pretty intense during the whole thing. The game was super nerve-racking, but it was definitely a huge accomplishment, so that made it all worth it! :]

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These girls are a complete joy to my life.

Well friends, I’ll leave you with some encouragement. I’ve been learning lately to not take things in my life for granted. And also that through hard times, God is still good. He is still the creator of the universe, and the creator of you and I. He knows everything and we need to not worry about every little detail in our lives. He is NEVER far off. Even if we are going through times that are tough, giving it to God is the absolute best thing you could do. He knows the depths of your situation and wants you to know He is walking right beside you through it all. :]

Thanks for stopping by!

In Christ’s love,

-Heather Rose :]

P.S. Intermural volleyball is starting up this next week and I am PUMPED! :]

Joey Alligier

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March 27, 2014

“..Let’s Pack Up and Move to California..”

March 27, 2014 | By | No Comments

Life is full of decisions to be made. 


As you sit at the mind numbing computer screen you may be facing the dilemma of finishing your homework…or possibly finishing that episode of Prison Break. More seriously you may be deciding between colleges, jobs, living situations, etc.

How do we often find the answers to these pivotal points? Perhaps a pro/con list, ask friends, of course pray, overall we assess the situation and weigh the options. Which one is more beneficial to me?

While of course weighing options and evaluating consequences is necessary, sometimes you just need to do something. I tend to think we sit on the sidelines for so long awaiting our names to be called so we can rip off those sweet, throwback, button-up pants. Yet, some go their whole lives waiting for confirmation on a decision; in that time opportunity is being missed out on. Life is being missed out on.

During Spring Break last week I got to hang out with this friend. Now this friend has been through quite a bit; things of his own decision and others not so much. However, through these trials and valleys he is staring into the eyes of God. As he is staring he is impacting so many people with his passion and perseverance. He knows God will provide for him. He isn’t a Biblical Scholar, he hasn’t been to school for this at all, he is hardly around people who challenge him with this.

When I saw change in his life, I sought him out. So, over some FroYo he told me a story I yearn to somewhat duplicate and/or never forget. Like Hawk Nelson, he packed up and moved  to California… yet, he had no friends out there. He had no idea. This was a leap of faith.

Hawk Nelson

Throughout this story he exemplified what it meant to trust Jesus on a level more severe than the lackadaisical, hesitant, and questioning approach most American Christians take. Long story short; he left for change and then decided to return changed.

The moral of this story and what should be the moral of all of our stories is that we WILL NOT have it all figured out at any point. We will question, doubt, and think “What if…” Yet, somehow that is where life produces the most beautiful pictures. That can be seen in a sunset  on your way through Arizona when God’s face isn’t any clearer or it can be revealed in the loving acts of a stranger you felt somewhat “pulled towards.” Just take the trip, just ask her out, just ask that person for help.

Limit your pride, expose your vulnerability. 

I leave you with this.

It’s okay to play, pro/con, and think about things.
It’s not okay to worry, overanalyze, and miss out on this big world.
Take a risk.
Challenge yourself.
Jump.

Take the Leap

Keep on and keep God,
Joey