Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Jesus - MNU Blogs

Katie Linsey


October 7, 2015

What Forgiveness Is – And What It Isn’t

October 7, 2015 | By | No Comments

Recently, I’ve had to forgive people for some things that I wish didn’t happen. Through the process of apologizing and forgiving, I came to realize that my definition of forgiveness was skewed. I assumed that forgiveness came with certain expectations and stipulations, but the truth is, it doesn’t.

On Sunday, my pastor talked about forgiveness, and what he said was nothing short of a revelation to me. Here’s what he said…

Forgiveness doesn’t make someone’s sin okay.

Forgiveness doesn’t deny hurt or offense.

Forgiveness is not always a relational reset.

And here’s what I got from what he said…

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean burying the hurt that you feel. It doesn’t mean that you have to force yourself to forget what happened. It simply means that you are no longer giving yourself the right to judge someone based on what happened.

Forgiveness doesn’t always result in things being back to the way they were before. It may mean that the relationship drifts apart, or even ceases to exist. And that’s okay.

I used to get frustrated when I would forgive someone and then still remember the hurt I felt, or when things wouldn’t go back to normal and I thought I had forgiven them the wrong way (or maybe not at all).

Ephesians 4:31-5:1 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Love people. Forgive people. Don’t be angry or bitter.

But don’t bury hurt. Don’t force relationships. Don’t ignore sin.

It’s a fine line, and sometimes I feel like it contradicts itself – but I do know that the Bible says to love and forgive… and that’s solid truth.

I’m still learning how to fully forgive, and what that looks like. I’d love to hear your input if you have any to give.

Thanks for reading, friends.


P.S. If you’d like to watch the sermon that my pastor preached, click here.


Renee DeVault


October 5, 2015

Night of Worship and Prayer Round One

October 5, 2015 | By | No Comments

Last night, October 4th, about fifty MNU students walked in the cold to the Harvest Prayer statue in the middle of campus and found a team of about fifteen people who were in way over their heads and praying their heart out for God’s will to be done because their human ability was just not enough.

Before I tell the story of last night and the incredible things God did, let me just say hello! My name is Renée DeVault, I am a freshmen Bible and Theology/Communications major at MidAmerica Nazarene University and I am having the time of my life here. I want to tell the story of October 4th as my “introduction” blog because it presents a model for what I hope my life on campus stays like.

Jordan Warren and a group of our friends have been praying about this series of events for about eight months but had only been planning this particular event for a few weeks, ever since meeting with a group of students who all shared a vision for revival on campus. Jordan did most of the planning, he reserved the space and the equipment, recruited the worship team, and recruited me to coordinate the prayer side of this “worship and prayer” event. When he said that he wanted to pull everything together in only a few weeks we were up for the challenge but I admit I was highly skeptical that it would all come together, further proof of why I should not be in charge 😉

But sure enough, posters were made, people recruited, equipment rented, songs practiced, and I found myself walking from my dorm to the campus mall with my prayer team, all bundled up for a cold night and scared out of my mind. We had about fifteen people setting up when I arrived a little after 5:00. I gave a disjointed pep talk to my prayer team, trying to fit four years of tips I’ve gathered from prayer ministry into a four minute crash course before rushing to help the worship team set up.

I am technology ignorant and physically uncoordinated so I generally helped with tasks like “hold this metal bar up”, “hold my phone for me”, “fill this bag with rocks”, and “You should take a picture of this.” I am constantly amazed by the technical “know-how” of my friends, watching them run wires and set up sound systems, it was definitely a very humbling experience.


At 6:00 when the team was scheduled to be practicing, the equipment wasn’t fully set up, the sound wasn’t working, the projector wasn’t working, and we were beginning to feel rain drops. Around 6:30 Jordan called us all together and asked me to pray. The fifteen of us stood in a circle, arms around each other and asked God to show up despite our human limitations, despite the sound not working, with no lyrics on the screen and possible rain. I was struck with the realization that if anything happened that night, it was going to be because of God, not because of anything on our part.

After we all prayed together, Jordan sent me to continue to pray while the rest of the team prepared for an acoustic worship set and the sound team desperately tried to turn on the sound. I began to walk around the area of our event and pray, just calling for God to come and praying for the people who were going to be coming. Fifteen minutes before seven, we found a button that hadn’t been pressed and suddenly the sound was working. There was barely enough time to do a sound check and absolutely no time to rehearse before about fifty students showed up ready to worship.

What these students got was a worship team that had never played together, a prayer team which had never prayed together, a sound system which hadn’t been fully tested, a screen which started working moments before the event, what seemed like the coldest night we’ve had in Olathe so far this year, and an encounter with the living God. It was incredible. That’s almost all I can say about it.

I saw people in tears who I had hardly ever seen show emotion. People I prayed for opened up about pain in their lives, doubts about God, anxiety about life, and generally just stuff they were struggling with. By the end of the night people were huddled in groups of two to five people praying for each other, listening for the voice of God with each other, and putting aside their worries as they discovered the joy that comes with corporate prayer and worship.

While packing up the event we shared stories about what God had done. I thought I had seen a lot but each member of our clean up crew had just as many stories as I did. It was late at night by the time we were done packing up and talking, but it felt like only a few minutes.

20151005_021754282_iOS 20151005_021800447_iOS

Some people may say it’s a small start. Fifty students, two hours of worship, no big deal compared to the huge churches and worship teams which draw thousands into auditoriums and stadiums, but numbers weren’t what we were going for. In the culture of a private Christian school, we wanted to have an event that wasn’t on the original calendar. Worship has become so normal for us that we wanted to move it to a different setting, know that we weren’t going to get spiritual formation credits, and seek God for the sake of God, not for the sake of routine or requirement. This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with the school scheduled events, we just reached a place where we wanted more of God than the schedule of events allowed for and we had a hunch that other students felt the same way.

So long story short we planned, we failed, but God still showed up. I can deal with that pattern. So we’re going to keep planning events because we want to be proactive in making our faith our own, not depending on what the school or ASG or Res-Life plans. We’re hoping that these events inspire people to plan their own and realize that there’s no pressure in having to perfectly plan something in order to develop their relationship with God and with fellow believers.

For our next “Night of Prayer and Worship” we’re planning on partnering with churches in the area to expand the ministry beyond MNU. For me, that’s the whole spirit of this school. We’re learning how to listen to and serve God here so that we can bring it out from here. Stay tuned, I’m hoping for many more adventures to come.

Isaac Walker


October 2, 2015

Impact World

October 2, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

I’m sure a lot of you have heard of YWAM by now.  They are an international Christian organization who’s sole purpose is to bring as many youth to Christ as they possibly can.  They have gone all over the world to places like India, the Philippines, England and even Delaware.  But the last two nights, they were in my hometown of Spring Hill, Kansas.

The local churches have been preparing for YWAM for months.  The churches have spent countless hours praying, organizing teams, preparing food for the Impact teams, and setting up the stages.  Honestly, I am relieved to be over with it.  Also, I had no idea how the actual events were going to be and how the youth were going to respond.

First off, the performers and the speaker for both nights were amazing!  Wednesday night, the team that performed and presented the Gospel was the Xtream Team.  It was compiled of a bunch of buff men that broke hundreds of bricks with their arms, elbows, and even their heads!  They also bench pressed a car engine, bent metal rods with their teeth, and ran through multiple layers of ply-boards.  The whole night, my anxiety was very high.  I was so nervous one of them was going to mess up and get hurt.  I was not mentally prepared to see someone get a compound fracture.  But despite me being a worst case scenario thinker, it was hard to not be impressed!

Here is one of the performers breaking a stack of bricks with his head!

Here is one of the performers breaking a stack of bricks with his head!

The second night, the GX Team was in town and they were a group that had a team of pro skaters and a bmx cyclist.  There was also a group that were professional dancers.  They did some hip hop and contemporary routines for us all.  Both groups did things that just blew me away.  I do not know much about either well enough to explain it over a blog.  Just trust me!  They were both amazing!

The BMX Biker jumping of a ramp.

The BMX Biker jumping of a ramp.


Here is a dancer from Guam doing a free style routine.

Here is a dancer from Guam doing a free style routine.

People responding to the messaged preached at the Impact World Event.

People responding to the messaged preached at the Impact World Event.

Now for the part that really matters.  How did the students react?  HUNDREDS!!!!  So many kids went up in response to the message they heard!  Hundreds of kids gave their life to Christ after just two nights!  This ministry is a great one.  I really did have my doubts, but they were put away after I saw all the people get up and go to the front when asked to respond.  I really do believe lives were changed.  Not every single one that went up, but I know a lot were changed for the better.

Impact has a few more stops in the area.  They are going to a lot of schools in the Olathe area.  A schedule for their Southern Johnson County tour can be found here.  The events are free to go to, and all ages are welcomed.

Until next week friends!

Katie Linsey


September 30, 2015

5 Things You Should Probably Know About Me

September 30, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey friends! I’m excited to say that I’m blogging for MNU again this year. Last year was a blast and I’m so thankful to be able to do this for another year.

With that being said, in case you didn’t tune in to MNU blogs last year, I’m going to re-introduce myself… here’s 5 things you should probably know about me. :)

1. I’m building a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I could’ve said “I love Jesus,” and that would’ve been accurate, but that doesn’t say much about my faith journey. I say that I’m building a relationship because that’s exactly what I’m doing. The past few summers and my freshman year at MNU were times when I had to examine my faith and figure out exactly what it is that I believe. I started to question many of my long-held beliefs and practices, so to say I’m re-building my faith is more fully accurate. It’s a beautiful and painful process, but I am seeing Christ for who He is and learning to be loved by Him.

2. People are my greatest fascination.

I absolutely love people. I used to think I was an extrovert because of my need to be around people, but I’ve realized that I just simply want to get to know the people that inspire and intrigue me. Human connection is my favorite thing in this world. I love running into people that I feel drawn to and then building a relationship with them. That being said, I don’t like shallow relationships. I prefer deep, authentic, vulnerable, real friendships. The kind that we are made for.

3. I live for moments.

Concerts. Road trips. Adventures. Coffee dates. I would much rather spend my money on experiences and memories rather than clothes or shoes. During the first semester of my freshman year at MNU, I decided that I wanted to go to Colorado, so I packed up my stuff and drove to Colorado Springs by myself. I’m all about seeing new things and falling in love with places and being spontaneous.

4. Music and art are my passions.

I started singing as soon as I could talk. I started playing piano when I was in middle school. I started drawing and painting in high school. I’ve always found that music and art connect me to myself, others, and the Lord. I find the most joy when I can use my hobbies and talents to bless others and bring joy.

5. I still have a lot to learn.

There is so much I don’t know. About myself. About my faith. About what I want in life. But that’s okay, because I’m learning. I’m expectant that my sophomore year of college will consist of lots of learning… not only in my classes, but also in my every day life. I have a solid group of friends that I’m learning alongside, and together we’re figuring it all out. (Or trying to, at least.) It’s exciting to question and wonder and hope and dream.

…so there you have it. I hope this post revealed more of who I am! Catch ya next week!


Katie Linsey


April 23, 2015

MNU to Drexel, Missouri

April 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

This week, I had the privilege of making a video for the Nazarene district highlighting MNU’s time at a church in Drexel, Missouri. Watch this video to find out how MNU became involved, what it has meant for students, and how it’s impacted the community in the church.


Katie Linsey


March 15, 2015

When You Don’t Get What You Want

March 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

This week, I found out that I did not get hired as a Resident Assistant for next year. When I was notified, I was shocked, disappointed, confused, and honestly heartbroken.

Those are a strange variety of emotions to feel all at once, so let me explain what led to those emotions stirring up in me.

Toward the beginning of the school year, I thought for sure that I wanted to be an RA. I already knew some of the RAs before I started going to MNU, so they told me a little bit about it and recommended that I apply. I was excited about the possibility and started praying about it the second week of school.

After months of praying, I was confident that the Lord wanted me to apply…

That confidence faded after the first RA meeting, though. After hearing about all the demands and not-so-fun aspects of the job, I thought “maybe this isn’t for me.” I began thinking that I didn’t want to do it and even started making living arrangements in Spindle with some friends for next year.

The whole time I thought I wasn’t going to apply, I felt a tiny bit of conviction, but I shrugged it off. Surely if The Lord wanted me to apply, He would place the desire in my heart to be an RA, right? Well, not necessarily. I knew He was still calling me to apply, although I was unsure if I even wanted to.

The night before applications were due, I scrambled to fill it out and get it turned in. While I was answering the short answer questions, I was reminded of the reasons why I originally wanted to be an RA.

As the application process proceeded and I was interviewed a few times, the desire in me to be an RA rose dramatically. I really wanted the position. I thought to myself, “Yes! The Lord is faithful and He has placed the desire in my heart.

To be brutally honest, I thought for sure I was going to get the position. I was confident that The Lord wanted me to apply, and why would He want me to apply if I wasn’t going to get it?

I started thinking about how awesome it was going to be to be an RA. I was pumped to get the opportunity to cultivate community in a place that I believe in so much. I believe that God has called me to MNU to help strengthen the unity in this community, and being an RA sounded like an efficient way to do that. I even started thinking about how I wanted to decorate my hall. You could say I had RA-fever.

Although I was confident that I would get hired, I still fervently prayed that The Lord’s will would be done throughout this process. I surrendered my sophomore year to Him, telling Him that I trust Him to place me where I can best glorify Him and serve Him. I prayed for the Residential Life staff, that they would have wisdom when deciding who to hire. I must admit that although my prayers were pure, I still thought I was going to get hired. I thought I knew where God wanted me serving next year.

So, fast forward to Friday, March 13, the day that I found out I was not hired to be an RA.

It was shocking because it was the exact opposite of what I was expecting. “God, why would you tell me to apply if I wasn’t even going to get it? Surely this is a mistake.” Friends, God doesn’t make mistakes… just FYI.

It was disappointing because I had already started thinking about how fun it would be. I was looking forward to it. A lot.

I was confused because I didn’t know why God did what He did (and I still don’t). I knew, deep down, that there was a reason for this, but I didn’t even want to know what it was. I didn’t want to make sense of it. I just wanted to know WHY.

I was heartbroken because I put so many emotions into the process. I truly believed that I would have made a great RA. I truly believed that this was an opportunity to be a leader on this campus. I wanted to influence MNU in a positive way, and I thought being an RA was the best way to do that. My heart was hurting pretty badly that afternoon.

It’s been a little over 24 hours since I found out and God has worked through this situation so much already. After a few hours of letting myself be upset and grieve the news, I decided to lean and pray like crazy. I desperately needed to feel Jesus… to know that He had this all figured out.

He does have it all figured out, even though I don’t yet. There are already opportunities that are coming up next year (keeping them confidential until they are official… can’t wait to share them with you guys!). I also made living arrangements in Spindle with some amazing girls. They are going to bless me in marvelous ways next year, I can feel it already.

I feel so good about next year. I feel so good about not getting the RA position. The only reason I can confidently say those things is because Jesus Christ is REAL. He’s always faithful and good. He knows better than we do.

I am beyond excited for the RAs that got hired for next year. I love them all and know they are going to do amazingly. I believe that The Lord has placed them in those positions because they will have positive, meaningful influence on their residents. A sincere congratulations from me!

So, to wrap this novel up… when you don’t get what you want, don’t fret. It’s not about you anyway (it’s about givin’ glory to the One we’re livin’ for, y’all).


Aaron Merrell


March 8, 2015

After Awakening

March 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey everyone!

So, last time, I wrote about an event we were putting on called Awakening. I figured I would write a follow up entry about how the event went.

After set up with the band, the grillers and the other ASG Class Council members, people started to arrive. I was pretty nervous that there would be barely any people there, but we actually had far more than any of us expected. Of course it’s not all about the numbers when it comes to a worship event, but it was a huge encouragement to see so many people there.

After about 45 minutes of eating, chatting and general fellowship with people from every class level at MNU, we got started with worship. We kicked this part off with scripture and prayer, then dove into worship through song. It was a great time of intimate worship, and the band did an excellent job of being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

We plan on doing a few more installments of Awakening throughout the rest of the semester, so the first event was truly a great launchpad for us. We were able to see what went well and what didn’t, and now we can apply that at the next Awakening. We also got to hear from some other students about their passions and some ideas they have for the event. I’m so excited to see how God is going to use this event for his glory.

Thank you so much for reading! Have a great week!


Katie Linsey


March 6, 2015


March 6, 2015 | By | One Comment

Two weekends ago, some students from MNU went on a Spiritual Life Retreat, where Dr. Fine spoke about having a spirit of faith. It really impacted my faith life, and I could go on and on about what the Lord revealed to me through Dr. Fine, but instead of rambling for hours, here’s the main takeaways from the weekend.

  • It’s important to be in the Word, establish a Sabbath, and enjoy solitude/meditation/listening to God.
  • Get scripture in your subconscious.
  • Know who you are and what you have in Christ.
  • Being in the Word can renew your mind and emotions.
  • We should internalize, externalize, and visualize the Word of God.

The main thing I (re)learned that weekend was the importance of consistently and intentionally being in the Word. It was healthy to be reminded of that and have a renewed understanding of the power of the Word in our lives.

“Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.” Psalm 119:5-6

When we live in a posture of prayer and study the Word consistently, we learn who we are and what we have in Christ. The Word is rooted in us and it becomes habitual to think in the ways of Christ.

As I’ve been in the Word this week, God has been reminding me that when we walk in His ways we are blessed (Psalm 119:2). He also promises that we will never fall (2 Peter 1:10), shall not be put to shame (Psalm 119:6), and are satisfied, preserved, upheld, and raised up (Psalm 145:14-20).

God knows what we need better than we do because He knows us better than we know ourselves. That’s why we can confidently trust Him to provide for us in His timing and His way.

There are so many unknowns in my life. I have so many questions. But, I serve a God that has my best interest in mind, therefore I don’t need all the answers. Our God can be trusted because He is ALWAYS faithful and true.

I hope these words that the Lord has given to me can encourage and empower you to live in a spirit of faith. I hope you continue (or start) to press into the spiritual discipline of studying the Word and listening for God’s voice in your life. It’s important. The reward of obedience and persistence is far greater than the reward of fulfilling your own desires on your own timing.

Trust Him.



Photo courtesy of Kara Stallings


Photo courtesy of Brady Braatz

Original version of cover photo courtesy of Amanda Doerhoff


Katie Linsey


February 27, 2015

Worship According To KT

February 27, 2015 | By | 4 Comments

Worship. What a word. It’s tossed around so much… so what does it really mean anyway?

If you were to ask me in middle school/early high school what worship is, I would’ve told you, “It’s something I do on Sunday mornings at church.” In other words, I thought worship was something that could only happen when music was playing.

Romans 12:1-2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

As I realized my desperation for God in the last two years of high school, He began to bring me into a loving relationship with Him. It was then that He revealed to me what worship really is. It’s not about the songs we sing, whether we close our eyes or lift our hands… it’s about our hearts. It’s about the way we live our lives. Romans 12:1 says that presenting our bodies as a LIVING SACRIFICE is our SPIRITUAL WORSHIP.

Worshipping God = Living the life that He’s called us to. Worship happens when we walk outside and admire a beautiful sunrise. It happens when we look into our peers’ eyes and see beauty. It happens when we love the person that has wronged us. It happens when we study the Word of God. It happens when we cry out to Him in times of despair. It happens when we surrender our ways to the ways of Christ and literally be the hands and feet of Jesus in this broken, hurting world.

One of my favorite ways to worship God is through song. Times of corporate worship in chapel and at church are sacred, blessed times in my life. My two favorite things in this world are Jesus and music, so when I get to take a passion of mine (singing) and use it to give glory to God, it’s a wonderful thing. I’ve spent countless hours in front of a piano, looking up chords on Ultimate Guitar, and pouring my heart out to Jesus. In those moments, I forget where I am. I forget what I sound like. I forget everything that’s going on in my life and I give praise to the One who is worthy. Worship through song has played a huge part in my walk with Christ. Before I worship, I always pray that God will rid me of distractions and reveal Himself to me in a new way. He never disappoints, friends. It’s powerful stuff.

Since I talk about my love for music and singing often, I figured I’d record a bit of my most recent worship time in the Bell practice rooms (great place, by the way). I hope you’ll really listen to the lyrics of this song and let the words “Jesus, we love you” be the cry of your heart.

Love you all! Thanks for reading and constantly encouraging me.


A poster that was taped on the inside of the door where I was worshipping. Love it.


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.