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Katie Linsey

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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).

-KT

Aaron Merrell

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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!

Aaron

Katie Linsey

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March 6, 2015

#MNUSLR

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.

-KT

#MNUSLR 1

Photo courtesy of Kara Stallings

#MNUSLR 2

Photo courtesy of Brady Braatz

Original version of cover photo courtesy of Amanda Doerhoff

 

Katie Linsey

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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.

-KT

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

 

Katie Linsey

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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:

“Lord,

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.

-KT

Haley Raydo

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February 9, 2015

Finding Joy in the Ordinary

February 9, 2015 | By | One Comment

Simple, yet so difficult.

Why does our generation struggle with this concept?

We get bored,

Desensitized to the beauty of creation

to the beauty of our loved ones

to the beauty of words and learning.

Instead our souls are allowed to be filled with junk.

We choose to believe what we hear,

to believe what we see,

to believe what we are told we need,

and in this, we forget the joy of discovery.

New places and new ideas,

or old places and old ideas.

We forget what life is about,

What joy is to be found.

We become satisfied with little,

But there is so much more!

Life is about the early mornings,

the relationships: built and restored,

the learning,

the compassion and humility,

the appreciation of beauty and of sacrifice.

You could live a whole lifetime,

seeking happiness and never finding it.

Because life isn’t about circumstances,

It’s about your mindset in the circumstances.

The key is joy, and joy doesn’t just bring life,

It brings resurrection life.

Katie Linsey

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January 15, 2015

Blessed Semester Ever

January 15, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

My church has been doing a series called “Blessed Year Ever” to kick off the New Year. During this series, my pastor has talked about how, as Christ followers, we can ensure that 2015 will be a year of blessing, and possibly the blessed year ever.

This series, along with the mindset of “starting over” that the New Year always brings, has gotten me thinking a lot about how I want 2015 to look for me personally. I learned a lot my first semester of college and went through lots of new experiences, both good and not so good, that have taught me a lot. These lessons have changed the way I think, act, and the way I want to live my life in general.

If I had to describe my first semester in college in a few words, I would describe it as “amazing and overwhelming.” It was amazing for obvious reasons: new friends, community, and an opportunity to grow as a Christ follower. It was overwhelming because of the lack of balance I experienced. I had a hard time balancing my time, people I wanted to get to know, schoolwork, and many other things. Having to find that balance (and realizing that I will never fully find it) honestly changed me for the better.

I want to dedicate this semester to growing deeper in my relationship with Jesus and building stronger connections within the community at MNU.

I want to seek God wholeheartedly. I want to become bolder in my faith, listening to the Lord and being intentional in everything I do. I want to delight in the presence of God. I want passion and zeal and fire. I want to be so recklessly confident in what God is doing in and through my life that I listen to Him without second thoughts. I want to feel Him all the time, inviting Him into every aspect of my life.

I want to better understand what it means to be a part of a community of believers. I want to dig deeper in my friendships that developed last semester. I want to talk about the hard stuff. I want to encourage and push people to become stronger in their relationship with Jesus. I want to make new friends. I want to make the most of every moment I have in this community because it’s beautiful and I won’t have it forever. I want to make memories that I will never forget. I want to laugh and cry, going through the joys and sorrows of life with some of my favorite people on this earth.

MNU is a special place. I am confident that God has me here for reasons that are unknown to me now. Growing deeper in my relationship with Him and also with the community is something that I’m very excited about. I couldn’t think of a better place to be.

Praise God that a place such as MNU exists.

Cheers to second semester, Pioneers!

-KT

Mariah McCommon

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January 6, 2015

January 5th, 2015

January 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey guys. This post will be a very serious one and forgive me it’s long. As my fellow bloggers have posted already, the MNU community lost a beautiful young lady who was a bright star shining on our campus.

Personally, I didn’t know her but I have seen through her friends that she was an absolute joy to be around and from her pictures she was always smiling. Although I did not know her, I do know how this goes and my deepest empathies go out to the community.

Today is the day in which we are saying our “see you laters” to the beautiful Quincy and it also happens to be the day after a student from my high school was shot and killed by the passenger while driving his car. The suspect has not been found, but the intense search will not cease until he is found.

During my four years of high school, a total of six students died and since graduation, two more from the school. Freshman year, a girl on color guard and a spritely friend to many was killed in a car accident. Sophomore year, not long after her graduation, the Homecoming Queen, honor student, and Sunday School teacher was hit intentionally by a car and was raped during her final breaths. The summer before my junior year, a girl in my class thought to be at a dead end with her life and ended it. She was so sweet to me in a class we had together and she was much loved by her friends and family. My final year of high school was hoped to be the year without any tragedies… second semester, my best friend and I befriended a sophomore in our gym class. We all sat at lunch together and were always laughing. She was incredibly vibrant and her smile could light up any room she was in. That’s the way she lived; happy and care-free. She was unfortunately involved in a car accident and was instantly killed. Approaching the end of senior year, an intelligent senior was killed in yet another car accident along with her father as they were returning home from enrolling in college. On May 18th, 2014, another student felt like his life was over as well so he ended it. He had just graduated that morning along with the rest of us.

The community is still experiencing these kind of tragedies. A young sophomore this school year lost her battle with cancer. And yesterday, someone I graduated with was shot. It has been difficult to wrap my head around all of this and there are truly no words or answers to express what has been going on. Although my words have been depressing so far, ultimately I want to provide hope to whoever may be reading this.

This life is temporary, I think we all know that. But the sting of pain still remains as we experience loss and various kinds of heartache. It’s alright to feel pain and feel sad, but it’s important to not allow it to consume you. After all, Jesus cried too (John 11:35). Quincy and these other students would want us to be happy. I’m sure of it. The lives they led and faith they portrayed is something we can all learn from and work towards. I believe seasonal depression is a thing and that is something I’m currently trying to overcome. It doesn’t help that everything seems to happen in the dead of winter. The tragedies we experience in life seem huge while it’s happening and maybe long after they happen, but the good news is that God is still and always will be bigger than the catastrophe. Peace rests in my mind knowing that they all are smiling down upon us at the right hand of God Himself. How cool is that? They are with Him right now and we’ll see them again. In all of eternity, we are just passing through this life and it will soon be a simple blink of an eye. God promises us through His word that those who love Him will receive everlasting, life. In Revelation chapter 21 God says,

“God’s dwelling place is now among the people,
and he will dwell with them.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.” (NLT)

Later in Revelation, God provides us with an epilogue that states,

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me,
and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End.” (NLT)

I hope and pray that God comforts those who have been affected by these sudden misfortunes. He welcomes those who are weary and burdened. As for me, my strength comes from The Lord and will guide me through with the help of the two extremely strong communities that I’m so blessed to be a part of. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers and continue to express all the love you possibly can to the people around you.

Verse

Haley Raydo

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January 4, 2015

A Bright Yellow House

January 4, 2015 | By | 3 Comments

Hello friends

Well if you are involved or know anyone in the MNU community, you possibly will know of the recent tragedy that has left many people with heavy and burdened hearts.  One of MNU’s dearest went to be with Jesus a couple days ago.  When heartbreak, tragedy, and trials come our way a mix of emotions rise.  There is confusion.  There is hurt.  There is anger.  There is shock.  All of which are logical and acceptable emotions.  In the past I haven’t always thought that my grieving mix of emotions were acceptable to God.  But that is simply not the case.  Scripture says that God is near the broken-hearted.  He is saddened with us.  Remember He once lived as us, and in the lowest of circumstances.

I was driving home from Oklahoma a couple days ago reflecting on the news of the recent passing.  My heart ached for my dear friends who are broken.  I looked out into the empty fields.  Gray sky stretched across the horizon.  The dead of winter made evident throughout the landscape.  Nothing seemingly “pretty” or “happy-looking” appeared in sight.  Until I saw this bright yellow house.  I thought it was kind of interesting, so I pulled over and took a picture.  I mean this bright yellow and cheerful, little house in the middle of no where, surrounded in a storm, in the dead of winter, just sat there.  It seemed resilient. And almost out of place.

That little yellow house would not escape my mind.  I reflected on it as I drove home and I felt the Lord made an impression.  That this house was joy, it was light, it was His people.  In the midst of a storm, in the midst of all things dead, His joy, His light, and His people were set apart.  They were bright yellow houses in the dead of winter.  That as trials come “the house” will not fall.  His people will find joy in his presence (Psalm 16:11), they will find his light, and they will be that light.  So as people drive and pass that little yellow house in the storm, they will be drawn to it.  Because it contains the joy of the Lord, it contains (even in the midst of tragedy and sorrow) perseverance, and it contains overwhelming comfort.

So maybe you are heavy burdened today.  Broken hearted.  I say to you: it is ok. It is more than ok to feel how you may feel.  The Lord draws near to that.  I can’t tell you anything new that you haven’t already heard, but I think the Lord says to you today to strive for comfort and safety in that little yellow house.  In the comfort and safety of our Savior’s arms there will you shine in the midst of the darkness, and there you will find joy.

I didn’t know Quincy as well as I wish I would have. Reading through endless amount of posts of the lives she had touched truly showed a legacy that is inspiring to all.  I urge us all to pray.  Pray for her dear and close family, for her roommates and friends, and for all those who grieve today.  A wise mentor of mine told me once that God moves when we pray because that way we know that it is Him that moves and works, so He receives glory.

Haley

Haley Raydo

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December 1, 2014

Diary of a College Student

December 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

I am a college student, and for that I am thankful.  But it is also a very stressful time.  I mean, I don’t remember a time where I was at a family gathering and wasn’t asked about school or my future career.  When asked about my major, I find an almost whisper and respond, “psychology.”  That single worded response elicits so many questions.  “What do you want to do with that?” “Do you know you have to go to graduate school to be a counselor?” I shake my head quietly every time-o  But secretly I am thinking “do you know how many times I have heard that?!”

Man… there are times I want to give up.  I am thinking about it right now as I type.  What would it be like, if I left? Found some job… maybe work in a church?  That is my dream.  I definitely would not have to worry about taking finals next week.  Cross an item off my worry list… I wonder what it would be like to have my own place… I would get a dog. Definitely.  Is this the stress that is talking? Probably.

I really do love college.  The people I have met will forever change my life. The things I have learned will forever change my narrow-minded perspective.  The stories I have will be forever told to my children, who with no doubt, will be sick of them by the tenth time around.  The relationship with Christ I have built, without a question, will last longer than “forever” but literally eternity.  That is something I treasure most about being a college student, particularly at a Christian school.  I have asked more questions, I have contemplated more ideas–that I am not sure I knew existed–, and I have stepped out into more boldness than ever in my life.  It’s a jumpstart.  It’s a jumpstart to my adult life.  My adult life that still has a considerable amount of time; I am just now reaching it.

This time in college, is stressful.  It is hard.  It is challenging.  Sometimes I wonder where I fit in.  Sometimes I wonder where God is.  I get homesick.  And I sure do not get enough sleep for what is good for me.  But it is a time where I have learned more than I could have ever imagined.   I am working on building a foundation for my life.  I am studying to be a better citizen, daughter, sister, future wife and mother, future career person and counselor, and a better daughter of Christ.  A better workman for His glory.  These stepping stones, are messy.  Life is messy.  It isn’t easy, but I am growing.  That is the ultimate goal, right?  To grow.  To grow in education and maturity, to grow into someone that has dreams and visions.  With an eternal perspective. Not set on the things this world offer, but what is really important.

So yes, I am not always in the best mood.  I fail daily.  I am not always the person I know God has created me to be. But I am learning.  Learning with open hands, with an open mind, with an open heart, and with open eyes.  To learn what Christ has already done and is going to do, and to be willing to follow it.  Maybe not everyone gets this same experience in college.  You definitely don’t have to have this experience in college. But this is where I am at.  This is where I am supposed to be.  I don’t think that way enough.  I will take in my learning and growing process.  It is messy.  It is scary.  And it is hard.  But it pays off. 

Thanks for listening

Haley