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Jesus - 2/4 - MNU Blogs

Heather Engle

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January 20, 2014

The wind and the waves

January 20, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

So this week was the first week back from break. First week of classes, and first week of stress. Let me tell you, it was a little overwhelming for me. I’m the type of person that when I look at all the things I have to accomplish, even if a homework assignment isn’t due for another two weeks, or maybe not even homework, maybe something in my life that I’m just dwelling on a lot, I freak out and get really anxious. So this has been my life this week. But I also wanted to share with you guys the lesson I have learned from this.

This lesson actually has to do with one of my new classes I’m taking. Well, not necessarily the class, but what we study. I’m currently in a New Testament! I can say with confidence that this will be one of my favorite classes this whole semester. Mainly because I’m studying the bible instead of math equations! How awesome is that! I feel so incredibly blessed that I’m able to go to a school that allows us to dive into the word and study it on a deeper level.

So throughout the semester, we are required to read our “Discovering the New Testament” book that we had to purchase for the class, but we also are required to read the whole New Testament! We are first reading the 4 Gospels, which are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and john. We are starting with Mark, and I am currently reading chapter 4 right now. And this is where all that I’m talking about will make a little more sense to you.

Mark 4:35-41 says,

“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

When I read this, it really hit hard for me. I feel as though sometimes, I can be the disciples. Asking God if he knows what I’m going through. And if He is still there with me. The example of having lots of homework is nothing compared to what kind of trauma’s we can experience sometimes in this life. But this past week, and I think it was a build up of a lot of things I’m going through right now, I have felt as though I’m stuck right in the middle of that storm.

But why am I so afraid…. Do I still have no faith?

Can the God who calmed the storm for the disciples that day, who said to the wind and the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”,  also be the same God who can calm the storms in my life?

Yes. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. My faith has been tested quite a lot throughout this season of my life, and I know for sure God has been there with me throughout all of the storms I have had to face.

So I guess I just wanted to share with you guys what was on my heart this weekend/has been on my heart for a while now. I hope it spoke to you in some way. I also want to encourage you to rest in Him. Whatever may be going on in your life right now, and even if you aren’t going through anything crazy; just praise him for being God. :] Even as he calmed the storm for the disciples, he can calm you throughout any storm you may be going through right now.

God sometimes chooses to calm us, rather than the storms. But he also promises never to leave us. He is our comforter and he loves us more than we could ever imagine.

To lighten the mood of this blog post, I thought i'd share with you guys a cute picture of my lovely friend, Emily. We went to savers today for their 50% off sale, and this is what she found. :] I love her a lot, and am so blessed to be able to do life with this girl. :]

To lighten the mood of this blog post, I thought i’d share with you guys a cute picture of my lovely friend, Emily. We went to savers today for their 50% off sale, and this is what she found. :] I love her a lot, and am so blessed to be able to do life with this girl. :]

Well guys, that’s all I have for this week. :] I hope you enjoyed reading, and got at least something out of it. If you didn’t, I am truly sorry.

Love,

Heather Rose :]

Haley Raydo

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January 10, 2014

Welcome 2014! {Word of the Year}

January 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

I can’t believe Christmas break is coming to a close… and I absolutely can’t even comprehend we are living in 2014!  Where has the time gone?!

So for this weeks blog, in honor of the new year, I think it is only fitting to share with you something that my church has done for the last couple of years in the new year.  Our pastor challenged us last year to choose a word of the year.  This “word” would be a theme of the year for your walk with the Lord.  At first I thought it was kind of a weird thing, but I prayed about it just to see.  I felt like my word of 2013 was trust.  And man, did I have a year of trust in 2013!

trust in the lord

It was so cool at the end of the year to look back and see where the Lord was faithful.  Trust is not an easy thing for me or most anyone, but I loved seeing God prove himself over and over this year just by me deciding to let go.  So often I want to control everything, but by letting go and trusting the Lord, I have seen Him at work a lot more clearly.

2013 had a lot of challenges and a lot of change (something I am not exactly fond of).  It seemed like there were few ups and a lot of downs.  And it’s those times that are the hardest to trust.  It has been a definite learning process, and I don’t have it all down (not sure if I ever will completely) but it helps me grow in my walk more than I ever imagined.

This year my word of the year is love.  And although that sounds a lot more exciting than the word trust, the Scripture this word is aligned with is Revelation 2:4 {Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first}  This year my walk with the Lord is going to be challenging me to rediscover why I do everything.  I serve Him because He is my first love.  He paid it all, and I owe Him everything yet He only asks that I follow.  And rediscovering that will be my journey.  My journey to step out of complacency and a stagnant faith.  

So if you’re up for it… give it a try!  It is so amazing looking backwards in December and seeing what God did!  Just ask the Lord to give you a word, or maybe you could just ask for a Scripture!

I hope you all had a great Christmas break and a Happy New Year!

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Follow me @haleyraydoo and @mnublogs

Also checkout Cross Points Church if you are looking for one in the area!

Mario Flores

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December 21, 2013

Being Home!! (after not having been in 11 months!)

December 21, 2013 | By | One Comment

We begin with me and my bags, almost ready to depart from MNU

We begin with me and my bags, almost ready to depart from MNU

But before leaving, I had to park my car with the rest of the cars that are being left for break. (Right next to Campus Safety's Office)

But before leaving, I had to park my car with the rest of the cars that are being left for break. (Right next to Campus Safety’s Office)

Real quick here’s a screen shot of my Maps App describing the wonderful distance and time of the “by land” trip home.

Yeah, flying is just a wee bit faster.

Yeah, flying is just a wee bit faster.

 

So after being picked up by Jamie, I got to eat some MickieDs breakfast with her beautiful self!

So after being picked up by Jamie, I got to eat some MickieDs breakfast with her beautiful self!

Well, after being dropped off a nice hour and a half before my flight were to take off, I wait. But thankfully, I brought my books and am going through Professor Flemming's libro!

Well, after being dropped off a nice hour and a half before my flight were to take off, I wait. But thankfully, I brought my books and am going through Professor Flemming’s libro!

So I kind of had Jamie drop me off at the wrong terminal. I was supposed to go to C, but I had her drop me off at A, thinking that United Airlines was the same thing as U.S. Airways.... That is not the case.

So I kind of had Jamie drop me off at the wrong terminal. I was supposed to go to C, but I had her drop me off at A, thinking that United Airlines was the same thing as U.S. Airways…. That is not the case. So I took the red bus to terminal C. Then I found out that because my first flight was delayed, I got rebooked to take an entirely different route-with an entirely different airline: U.S. Airways. So back to terminal A I had to go, and here is that picture.

I got past through the second round of TSA agents for the day, and was awaiting at my gate. Now instead of leaving at 1130 as I was supposed to, I was to leave at 3. BUT it was going to be a direct flight. Instead of two as originally supposed. Also, instead of arriving at 415, I was just going to be arriving at 451. Talk about Score!!

I got past through the second round of TSA agents for the day, and was awaiting at my gate. Now instead of leaving at 1130 as I was supposed to, I was to leave at 3. BUT it was going to be a direct flight. Instead of two as originally supposed. Also, instead of arriving at 415, I was just going to be arriving at 451. Talk about Score!!

While waiting, I saw this sign and was like "Yes, definitely the best way to travel." Only I don't carry a purse or murse, I bring a backpack:D

While waiting, I saw this sign and was like “Yes, definitely the best way to travel.” Only I don’t carry a purse or murse, I bring a backpack:D

See...

See…

Being there three hours before departure, it was pretty vacant, so I took a nap.

Being there three hours before departure, it was pretty vacant, so I took a nap.

When I woke up around and hour later, there was a lady sitting across from me. So I decided to ask if she was on the Phoenix flight, she was. Then I asked why be so early, she had been working all through the night, and after not sleeping well figured, why not just come to the airport already? I'm cool with that, cause we talked for like the next hour or so and now I have a new friend! Margaret you rock!! And peeps, she works in the hospital and serves as a respiratory therapist. She helps bring the breath of life back to people!! Specifically individuals that are infants or younger. Totes obvi is she a boss!!

When I woke up around and hour later, there was a lady sitting across from me. So I decided to ask if she was on the Phoenix flight, she was. Then I asked why be so early, she had been working all through the night, and after not sleeping well figured, why not just come to the airport already? I’m cool with that, cause we talked for like the next hour or so and now I have a new friend! Margaret you rock!! And peeps, she works in the hospital and serves as a respiratory therapist. She helps bring the breath of life back to people!! Specifically individuals that are infants or younger. Totes obvi is she a boss!!

This is the step from the terminal onto the airplane. It probably just felt more epic than it truly was, but whatevs.

This is the step from the terminal onto the airplane. It probably just felt more epic than it truly was, but whatevs.

I got on the plane, got an aisle seat and was ready to start heading home!!

I got on the plane, got an aisle seat and was ready to start heading home!!

Fastforward to arrival, and skip me taking another nap that a polite Troy sitting by the window, who had to use the restroom, waited patiently till I awoke to ask to move past me to get to it, and skip the takeoff and landing since I couldn’t video it because I’d have been videoing Troy-whom I didn’t even know his name at that point until then.

Anyway, though I packed two carry on items, I volunteered to check my lil' suitcase, which I thought meant that I would get it back to me right after landing, as in in the terminal, but nope had to go to baggage claim (which defeats the whole purpose of bring two carry on items) But no worries, my bag was not lost--it did get put on a different carousel, from some of the rest of the peeps on my flight, but I found it!

Anyway, though I packed two carry on items, I volunteered to check my lil’ suitcase, which I thought meant that I would get it back to me right after landing, as in in the terminal, but nope had to go to baggage claim (which defeats the whole purpose of bring two carry on items) But no worries, my bag was not lost–it did get put on a different carousel, from some of the rest of the peeps on my flight, but I found it!

 

Caught up with Margaret again, had her identical twin sister Mary take this photo, told her to check out mnu.edu/blogs so that she could see the pics I were taking, weren't purely for my own enjoyment. Which btw sorry I got this posted Saturday as opposed to Friday Margaret!!

Caught up with Margaret again, had her identical twin sister Mary take this photo, told her to check out mnu.edu/blogs so that she could see the pics I were taking, weren’t purely for my own enjoyment. Which btw sorry I got this posted Saturday as opposed to Friday Margaret!!

Fastforward 3 hours of driving from the airport to here, and here’s my home:)

And here’s my backyard:

 

Inside the home, it feels homeE :)
First time in almost ten years that we have stockings put up/

First time in almost ten years that we have stockings put up!

 

Then there has been the activities that have gone on outside:

Here's Mom and Dad with us picking out our Xmas tree.

Here’s Mom and Dad with us picking out our Xmas tree.

By the way, some people get upset or disgruntled when people write Xmas instead of Christmas for concern that Christ is being removed. Well if you think or know people that think that, share with them that it began as an abbreviation for Christmas centuries ago since the first letter in the Greek spelling of Christ is the letter X. Therefore X represents Christ. It is an abbreviation with the same meaning. And though X in English is used/pronounced in the same way that X-men Wolverine is, it’s supposed to be Christmas.

Anyway, moving along to some more outdoor activities:)

I got to help my dad saw off some dead branches. Now though, they were weak, thin, and dead I still did it okay!

Here’s Dad now, at the end when I made manly grunts, for whatever reason they startled him:P

Here are some Xmas lights that we put up:

Here's our front porch with luces.

Here’s our front porch with luces.

And finally this has been a lesson that’s been renailed into my heart as of late.

I think if anyone will venture to look hard and long enough, he or she will find that they are in need.
I am not exempt.

But at least there is always hope.

Well that’s it for this week friends. Peace in the Middle East, Merry Christmas (or Xmas) And I hope you enjoy this song by Cloverton!

Joey Alligier

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December 17, 2013

Tis’ the Season

December 17, 2013 | By | No Comments

Christmas break:
No school
Family time
Friends galore
Getting swole’
Coffee shop visits on coffee shop visits

I guess this time of year isn’t that bad.
Despite the wretched cold…. 

From a Christian perspective, it is the time of waiting, preparation, and anticipation. It’s the season of Advent. Now, I am nowhere near an expert on this idea and what it fully looks like, yet, I know how the initial idea affects me. In my mind there is a consistent fight of the concept of Christmas by the mass media. I see all these wants and a ton of receiving. What I desire to see are needs and unfathomable amounts of giving. Correlating advent, we are all given hope that redemption, in its fullest form, is on its way: Christ.

We are filled with this hope and to be filled is an opportunity to pour out. 

I have read/ am reading a few books lately that are challenging me beyond myself. Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton, Wrecked by Jeff Goins, and Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown. The concepts found range from enabling versus empowering, how to invest in life in a fulfilling way, and what it means to be satisfied in a world of “not enough”. What I am seeing consistently throughout all readings is that life is not about me. My life is purposed beyond myself and my capabilities. As it is the holiday season, it hits home that my mind shouldn’t be focused selfishly. It can be hard with so many cool things that attract my attention. There are people in need all around us, in every concept, from physiologically to spiritually. Yet, in Wrecked I am seeing that true compassion doesn’t always make us feel good; (DUH) it’s not for us. Often we make people objects and just do things for them which ultimately hurts them, but it makes us feel good. Don’t focus on how you feel afterward, it’s not about us. We see people who need more than we can give and they open our eyes to revelations that we cannot unsee and may, and hopefully will, change the course of our lives and thought processes.
(That is a condensed-probably-confusing version of what my mind has been trying to grasp lately)

“You don’t have behave complexly to show love, extravagant love can be seen in the simplest of forms.”

Here are a few ways to make a lasting impact on someone during this season:

1) Food, food, food. 
People don’t always have family, money, or whatever else to have an extravagant holiday dinner. Bring people together for fun and fellowship. Even if they do have the means necessary, come together in a way beyond your own little bubble.

2) Get out of your comfort zone.
This can look like a variety of things. In the end it’s about having perspective amidst the surrounding world. Have a conversation with the guy ringing the bell for the salvation army or talk to the person sitting next to you alone in a coffee shop. It doesn’t have to be big, keep it simple and love immensely.

3) MORE FOOD. 
Partake in a pay-it-forward type venture. Whether this is at a restaurant or, you guessed it, a coffee shop, give without expectation. This can also look like buying food (or whatever need) for the person holding the cardboard sign, make a personal investment instead of throwing money at them. This can create conversation that allows them to leave with more than a few less dollars and a sense of good-doing.

4) Give more than you get. 
It’s easy to get caught up in the fascination with new things during this time of year, but those things will become “old” soon enough. Invest your time in money in worthy causes and organizations. This can look like asking for less with another idea in mind of where the money can go or maybe it is going to a shelter and making community with people on Christmas.

In short, go beyond yourself this season. I’m not saying give everything up and focus solely on others; it’s okay to get gifts and new stuff and have fun. I am saying however, be willing to give in time and investment whatever that looks like. After all, we are to be hopeful as we await the coming of Christ. Take that hope and spread it; with your family, friends, people at the gym, and people at your frequently visited coffee shop.

*Perspective should be had all year long. In the simplest acts, like helping carry groceries, love extravagantly. Don’t assume someone else will make the potential difference you’ve been presented with; you are that SOMEONE.
Be available

Any questions, feel free to ask!
https://www.facebook.com/PrayaWarrior

Keep on and keep God friends,

Joey

Heather Engle

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December 16, 2013

steak and shake and a Hot tub

December 16, 2013 | By | One Comment

Hello Blog World!

Sooo I just wanted to let you guys know that…

I survived my first finals week! Thank the Lord! :]

Now I am sitting in my living room at home, just enjoying the nice long break that I get to have before going back for another semester at MNU. Although having a long break is nice, I have to admit, I already miss being at MNU and my family there… :/ but its okay! We will be reunited soon enough!

Before we all left after finals to go our separate ways to our family and friends back home, my MNU friends and I decided to go do something fun one last time before our departure! Here are some pictures:

2013-12-12 21.33.04

This is all of us! We decided to go to steak and shake at around 9:30 at night. These girls are some of my best friends and can make me laugh like none other.

2013-12-12 21.36.54

2013-12-12 21.37.15

2013-12-12 21.37.32

Also, There was sort of a surprise waiting for me when I arrived home:

2013-12-14 12.33.21

These are my sisters in our new hot tub! It was an early Christmas present to the whole family! How awesome is that? :]

Well friends, I hope you have an amazing Christmas and realize what this season is all about; The hope that was brought into the world by the birth of Jesus Christ. We can get so distracted by everything else this world tries to make Christmas about and forget the true meaning of it. So rest in His hope today and enjoy time with your family and friends!

 until next time,

-Heather Rose :]

Heather Engle

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November 25, 2013

I’ve been learning lately…

November 25, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello Blog world. :]

This week’s blog is going to be a little different from what I usually do. God has definitely taught me some stuff that I would like to share with you guys.

Something pretty exciting happened to me this weekend! It may not seem like a huge deal to some, but I had the chance to lead worship on Sunday morning for a church in Basehor, Kansas! This was actually the first time I have ever gotten to decide who was on the team, select the songs, and lead each of the songs that we played. Not that leading worship at this church was about me and my experience AT ALL, but it was overall just a wonderful opportunity!

Village Community Church was where we went to lead worship. I took a team of people from MNU that were so great to sacrifice their time to lead worship with me. I know I am definitely not the best worship leader in the world, but God has been so very generous in giving me many opportunities to stretch the talents and gifts He has given me. There is still so much to learn, but if there was one thing I have learned since I’ve been here at MNU, it’s that It is SO not about me.

 Even if I try my hardest to be the best at whatever it may be, I know it won’t be perfect. It may be close, or even way far off. I am only human, but God is ALL powerful, ALL knowing, and ALL merciful.

And I am SO thankful for that! He knows exactly what He is doing. To think that He would use someone like me to lead people into the presence of God is a miracle in itself. And when I said He knows exactly what He is doing, I really mean it. He knew that I was meant to come to MNU.

I don’t know how else I would have been able to experience the things that I am right now if it wasn’t for this college. I am beyond blessed and I can’t even describe to you how mind blown I have been by the chances I’ve had to be able to do what God has called me to do. It is truly insane to think about. God also knows exactly what I’m going through right this second. And even in my brokenness, or whatever I may be going through, despite the challenges that can come in this life, He can still use me. He is still good.

His love is unconditional. It does not depend solely on my circumstances. I really hope you take this in personally for yourself too, because He knows EXACTLY what is going on in your life, right this second, and He has walked through everything with you. Every single thing that you have been through, He has been there. :] How awesome is that?!

So this is what’s been laid on my heart this weekend, and I wanted to share this with you guys because I think it really captures what MNU is all about. This school has blessed my life tremendously in a way that I will never forget.

Rest in His truth today.

I promise you won’t regret it. :]

“It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For scripture says to Pharaoh: I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” –Romans 9:16, 17

-Heather Rose :]

Allegra Vieux

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November 16, 2013

Tis the Season

November 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

(Please enjoy the sweet sounds of Sleeping At Last while reading this post)

Attention Blog World:

You may have been misled by our blogfeed as of this week. You may think based on the title of this post that the current season is that of TWIRP, which as you have probably figured out by now stands for MNU’s annual tradition: The Woman Is Required To Pay. While I did not TWIRP anyone, (see my post about dating,) I’m here to introduce a new topic to our faithful 6 readers out there.

The holidays are upon us! It’s official. Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away, Christmas is 40 days away, and the new year is 47 days out! (ish-depending on how you count.)

I have spent approximately 40 hours this week on Pinterest looking at fun Christmas decor and Christmas crafts and Christmas vegan crockpot recipes, all the while listening to Christmas music. The Target Christmas commercial really gets me in the mood and I’ve been to Target about 3 times this week just meandering throughout the seasonal section. I love the Holidays!

Now, before you formulate your comment about how much you hate that I’m skipping over Thanksgiving and jumping right to Christmas or how Christmas is too materialistic, I’d like to address them right off the bat.

1. Happy Holidays is about the season, not the individual days.

I think it’s absolutely absurd that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years have to be separate. When I say “Christmas,” I’m not talking about one single day- It’s the season. The one thing I’m thankful for most is Christ, so the whole season is a time to be Thankful. To separate the holidays is to abide by the materialistic component. There is no research in what I’m about to say, but I think it’s poetic that the Christmas season is kicked off by Thanksgiving: a time to reflect on all the things we are thankful for, which then leads into the birth of our Savior, which is the top of the Thankfulness chart, and then into New Years- a time to put our reflection to action start new.

2. Focus on the lasting, not the passing.

It’s possible to focus on the lasting memories made at Christmas time, and not just the passing material gifts. Let me give you an example: I was in 1st grade and woke up on a snowwy Lawrence morning to what seemed like a MILLION Christmas presents under the tree. It’s always been one of my mom’s things to make sure that we open presents for hours- One year when we were broke, she even wrapped up necessities like cleaning supplies and a new toilet seat to give us the “Christmas Miracle” feel. ANYway, while I remember waiting patiently to open what felt like my hundred presents, I don’t remember what I got, except one prized gift.

Picture 3 Picture 4

Yes, my Nsync “Home for Christmas” album. I’m listening to it as I type! While it may be that I remember this moment so clearly because I then and still on occasion believe Justin Timberlake is who the Lord has set aside for me, it meant so much to me that my mom went the extra mile. She took interest into what I was interested in, which is the biggest service you can do for a person IMO (in my opinion.) I didn’t even ask for this CD, but she knew how much I love(d) Nsync and got a special CD for me and even marked it, “From Santa.” I totes knew it wasn’t from Santa because I didn’t put it in my letter I sent him, and that made me love it even more. It’s not about the gift, it’s about the demonstration of love.

3. “The Man” is not out to get you.

As a marketing student, I can tell you that I’ve had a lot of conversations about campaign ideas, none of which started out with, “How are we going to drive America into materialistic death today,” OR “We gotta get those people to stop focusing on the God component of Christmas and more on the cheap crap they’re gonna need under the tree.” If you feel like you are having a hard time focusing on “the reason for the season,” it’s not because of advertisements, it’s because of overindulgence. I’m just as guilty of this as the next American Citizen. Turn off the TV, put down the ads, stop filling your Cartwheel coupon book. The things advertised are not meant to be the focus of your holiday- they are meant to enhance it. It’s kind of like makeup. Makeup is not your beauty, it just enhances it. (Realizing that this as well as any other analogy eventually breaks down, don’t think about it too hard.) It is your own choice to be consumed by consumerism, so take some responsibility.

While it seems like the whole world revolves around Christmas this time of year, it is definitely important to realized that it doesn’t. For many people, Christmas is just another day. It is a privilege to be able to take time off and spend even a day with loved ones reflecting on all that we are thankful for.  A heart wrenching statistic I recently read was that 100 million people in our world are homeless. A related stat estimates that 80% of humans trafficked are homeless when taken. This post is not to guilt you by any means, but it is important to keep in mind the bigger picture. Slaves don’t get time off with their families.

I found this Slavery Footprint tracker online through Amor’s Blog. I was shocked to know that I personally employ 43 slaves. It takes like 5 minutes to calculate, and I would encourage you to try it.

Picture 7

While you may have many different feelings regarding your results, I want to encourage you that there are things you can do this Christmas to contribute to making our world a better place. Part of my internship this summer was creating an advent calendar called “24 Days of Disruption.” This is a cool 24 day challenge to Disrupt your ordinary Christmas and become more Christ focused this season.

Here’s a blog post with more information: Picture 6

If you don’t click any other link I’ve provided, please read and watch more about this. Do Christmas differently this year. As your pinning your crafts and shopping for gifts and baking pumpkin bread, remember to take time and think about those who are not as fortunate. Commit to 24 Days of Disrupt and start new traditions to drive out the American tradition of worshiping “stuff” in the Christmas season. Take responsibility and action: you have been called to live a life higher than an imprisonment by your own things.

Happy Holidays!

Over and out!

 

 

Mario Flores

By

November 7, 2013

I Have Hope

November 7, 2013 | By | No Comments

On Monday I looked up one of my favorite songs on YouTube and found this video for it: Watching it helped inspire me to write what I shared in the video.

On Sunday Living Hope Church of the Nazarene we are starting a new series called Focused Living:

This is my pastor John Marra. He also teaches Pastoral Care and Counseling here which I am told by every single person I know that has taken it, that it is one of the best if not best class they've ever had!! I look forward to taking it next fall!!

This is my pastor John Marra. He also teaches Pastoral Care and Counseling here which I am told by every single person I know that has taken it, that it is one of the best if not best class they’ve ever had!! I look forward to taking it next fall!!

Now check out this video of Apollo Robbins, talk about skill and misdirection! Pastor used in as an illustration to show that where our focus is, matters!

Also this past week I got to go back to YouthFront Camp West and manage the paddleboats and canoes! That was fun to be back in that blessed place!!

Well lookE there at the there sunset! B.E.A utiful if you ask me!

Well lookE there at the there sunset! B.E.A utiful if you ask me!

Though this was taken after class, I thought I'd show this first. This is Professor Flemming. Randy Cloud has said before that when they need to send MNU representatives for our religion department, they send Flemming because he's the smartest of all of them! I've gotten to pick his brain and he's evidently a man after God's own heart. Thanks Brother Dean for being who you are and living into the man of God that He is calling you to be!!

Though this was taken after class, I thought I’d show this first. This is Professor Flemming. Randy Cloud has said before that when they need to send MNU representatives for our Religion Department, they send Flemming because he’s the smartest of all of them! I’ve gotten to pick his brain and he’s without a doubt a man after God’s own heart. Often when he reads Scripture his eyes light up with excitement and joy. And when he recites Scripture, we get a more “alive” version of the Book that we all desire to base our lives around–because of the One of whom its about!! Thanks Brother Dean for being who you are and living into the man of God that He is calling you to be!!

So Dr. Flemming was my New Testament Literature Professor and now this semester he's my Biblical Interpretation professor--which I gotta say this class has been tremendously helpful in my understanding of Scripture and helped me gain an attitude that is  more careful and humble in seeking to interpret it as His message for us!  Also, the candle to his right is something that he does every class period, because fire was often associated with the Holy Spirit in the Bible and Professor Flemming is always reminding himself and us that he is relying on Him to lead the class!! #likeaboss.

So Dr. Flemming was my New Testament Literature Professor and now this semester he’s my Biblical Interpretation professor–which I gotta say this class has been tremendously helpful in my understanding of Scripture and helped me gain an attitude that is more careful and humble in seeking to interpret it as His message for us!
Also, the candle to his right is something that he does every class period, because fire was often associated with the Holy Spirit in the Bible and Professor Flemming is always reminding himself and us that he is relying on Him to lead the class!! #likeaboss.

Here's the book that Dr. Flemming just recently had published! It will be used for his Biblical Theology class! Woot Woot. He signed my copy and after I get back from Xmas break having read it, we will get to discuss it!

 

Just a little bit of what is written on the back of the book!

Just a little bit of what is written on the back of the book!

And here's Dr. Randy Cloud being silly again wearing my friend Dominic's rastafari hat:P

And here’s Dr. Randy Cloud being silly again wearing my friend Dominic’s rastafari hat:P

 

 

 

 

Heather Engle

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November 3, 2013

Fall Retreat 2013

November 3, 2013 | By | No Comments

So this weekend I was blessed with the wonderful opportunity to go to Quapaw, Oklahoma to help lead worship for a fall retreat that was taking place for Central Church of the Nazarene and Mission Church! I got a chance to meet SO so many wonderful people, worship Jesus with them, have fellowship and laugh a TON. I was also able to go on a Zip-line, which was terrifying, but SO worth it at the same time! It was really an amazing weekend. I went with a worship team that was put together of 6 of us Mid-America Students and we lead worship throughout the whole weekend for the kids that were there.

If you don’t know me very well, I have a HUGE passion for worship. (Side story) When I first became a believer, worship was one of the things that really drew me closer into knowing the main attributes of God. I believe that worship brings us into a time with God that can be transforming for us in our lives and it also expresses to us who God is. I believe God uses worship in such a way of reminding us how loving, gracious, merciful, powerful, and mighty He really is! Not that other things can’t show us that as well, but I believe that God has placed a passion for music in my heart that really accentuates who God is personally to me. It has been such an amazing journey to come to this point, and I have definitely grown SO much through it all (and I am definitely still growing!)

I am just so thankful for Gods faithfulness in my life.

His unconditional love that has transformed me in every way possible.

And his grace that He has given to me every single day.

So here is a view of what all took place this weekend! Enjoy! :]

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I had to put this picture in here because I just really love clouds and sunsets. You guys know that already. :] I took this picture on the way to the camp! It was the sunset as we were driving there! I really think this is also a way that Gods glory, his beauty, and creativeness is displayed.

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This is a view of where the messages and worship took place! We also brought basketballs and other bouncy balls that the kids could play with!

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This is after we got all set up and were about to practice for one of the worship sets!

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Guys, this place was absolutely beautiful, and it was especially beautiful because of this time of year! I LOVE FALL!

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Its kind of hard to see us, but this is my friend Erin and I!  Erin is an intern at Central Church of the Nazarene and was helping run this camp! We got to go on the Zip-line together! It was such an amazing experience. The Zip-line was pretty high up there, but the view was absolutely breathtaking! We had those harnesses that strapped on to you, and you had to take a rope up with you (which was called your baby) and that rope attaches to the zip line so you can just hang from it as you glide down the line! It was also a freezing cold day, so by the time we were done, our hands and feet felt like they were going to fall off!

But overall, it was more than worth it! :]

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This is Sarah and I! She has definitely been a huge blessing in my life and is teaching me every day how to be a wonderful leader and messenger of the truth that is Jesus Christ. She lead the worship team this weekend and I feel so incredibly blessed to know her!

Well I hope you enjoyed taking a look at what has been taking place in my life! I had a blast this weekend being with some wonderful people and resting in Gods presence. :]

Love,

-Heather Rose :]

Allegra Vieux

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October 30, 2013

Mourning the Death of a Relationship: A word for the hurting, the healing, and the hating

October 30, 2013 | By | No Comments

man_crying

crying-girlBreaking up is hard to do.

I can’t take credit for that wisdom, but in my experience, it is true.

When a relationship ends, it’s almost as if a whole person dies. When 2 people come together and form a dating relationship, the dynamic of the couple is like a 3rd friend. When that time is over, it’s like the third friend has left on bad terms, or even died but no one wants to acknowledge it. It affects everyone around, even those who weren’t involved. The two newly single people can catch a glimpse of each other from across campus and everyone within the local zip code feels the tension. I think it has something to do with quantum physics, but I’m no science major so don’t quote me on that.

There are 3 major people groups involved in a break up, as listed below:

1. The Hurting: The one who got broken up with- maybe didn’t see it coming.

2. The Healing: The one who broke off the relationship.

3. The Hating: The friends of the couple, or highly opinionated acquaintances.

Keep in mind that in whatever I’m about to say, I’m on your side. I’m writing as the completely unbiased third party, and won’t give you half-truths. There are absolutely situations that one person is completely wrong, but this is from the stand point that things just didn’t work out. If you are in any of these positions, I feel for you. It’s aca-awkward. So let’s dive in and relieve the tension.

To The Hurting: Be glad you’re not in a relationship with someone that doesn’t value you for all that you’re worth. Last week I kind of put Bruno Mars on blast, but the dude also has good things to say. For example, I wake up to “Treasure” every morning. The whole song is a booster, but there is a line that is fitting for this subject.

You’re wonderful, flawless, ooh, you’re a sexy lady”

Lady or gentleman, you are wonderful. You are flawless. You are sexy! These are all Biblical. Don’t mistake a relationship fizzling as a reflection of your identity. The addition of a significant other does not change who you are. The absence of a significant other does not change who you are. I have no reason to lie. You are a dream come true. A masterpiece- Don’t get in your head and make everything a reflection of you. Start listening to the truth and tuning out the lies. To quote B. o. B., “You the whole package, plus you pay your taxes.” I know for a fact the first statement is true, and if the second is true, then you’re set for life.

To The Healing: Props to you for having the courage to end something that isn’t going any further. It’s never easy to let someone down, but the shorter the delay, the better. You may be concerned that your sig (or in this case ex-sig) is drowning themselves in tears or cookie dough ice cream, but don’t take that on. Don’t give yourself the credit of making or breaking someone’s life. Sure, this is painful for everyone involved, but you’re not the center of the universe, therefore, you cannot send anyone into an apocalypse. They will be fine and so will you. Be prepared though- this takes time. Don’t expect to go back to being friends within moments of ending it. That’s not good for you or them. Let them lay low for a while, and don’t force a conversation or moment to happen.

To The Hating: This blog is mostly for you. If you are a friend of a sig, then there’s no such thing as a third party. You probably have opinions. You probably have the best of intentions in supporting your friend. Sometimes, the lines of supportive and destructive get blurred. Things that start so positive end really horribly, like the riot in the movie, Hot Rod.

hotrod5If you’re not familiar with the movie, the main character, Rod, played by Andy Samburg, is trying to raise funds for his dying stepfather’s heart transplant. While on his way to the fundraising event, the whole community comes alongside him and walks together with him. The song “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham plays over the dialogue and it is truly an inspiring moment in a weird, satirical movie. (Side note- this is my FAVORITE movie ever! Watch it if you haven’t because your life will be CHANGED!) Then the inevitable happens: a riot breaks out and the whole moment is killed in a matter of seconds.

I’m going to go as far to say that this actually happens more often on campus than we acknowledge. For example, a couple splits and the girl and guy go back to their respective same gender friends. The said friends both start consoling The Hurting and The Healing, and come alongside them in support. Somewhere along the lines, the opposing party (usually, The Healing,) becomes the enemy and it is a battle to get as many people in your army as possible. Tearing others down won’t make anyone any higher. This brings me to my first point:

Blowing out someone else’s candle will not make yours shine brighter.

One time, it was one of my professor’s 50th birthdays. My friend Emily and I got a small cake for him with 50 trick candles on top. We waited for him to go to class and proceeded to light all of said candles with the intention of disrupting his class and having a good laugh. The plan backfired. We definitely disrupted his class, because the flames came together and created one HUGE flame measuring up to 2 feet in height and nearly causing the entire business building to burn down. We busted into class, sang happy birthday, and then he made a wish, and tried to blow them out. This was the moment when I decided I hated trick candles, because the flames came back with a vengeance. The Lord was on our side, as it was a rainy day, and we RAN through the first floor of Metz, burst outside, and launched the now wet candles into the bushes. The cake was covered in rainbow wax and riddled in holes.. DEFINITELY inedible.

What if we, took our candles, and put them together to burn bright, instead of using them like torches to lead a riot? Maybe this is corny, but what if we loved our neighbors by supporting the good instead of condemning the bad? When talking to our Hurting and Healing friends, let’s make a point of reaffirming their qualities instead of bashing the bad. Forget boyfriend bonfires and remember the candle fiasco: it will change your paradigm.

What do you do if your Hurting friend is bashing their Healing ex-sig? It’s easy to jump on the wagon and want to join in with what they are saying. This brings me to my next point:

Not everything is black and white.

Keep in mind that the side of the story you are hearing when your friend is upset is tainted and not the most accurate. Don’t take those statements to the bank. Reaffirm your friend, and keep their candle shining, maybe even relight the flame. Use your powers for good and not for evil.

Do we all remember when Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were married? They were my favorite Celebrity couple second only to Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. I remember the day like it was yesterday: I was watching Newly Weds on MTV and the screen went black for a Public Service Announcement: that Brad and Jen called it quits. People went nuts! If people were in support of Jen, then they wore pink ribbons, but if they were for Brad, they wore blue ribbons. It originally had to do with Aniston backing Breast Cancer Awareness, known world wide for the pink ribbon, and Angelina Jolie with the blue ribbons for Child Abuse Awareness, and because Brad switched partners he switched causes or something… the point is that choosing sides and viewing things as black and white gets you no where except for down a destructive road leading to drama, and nobody wants that!

Real talk though- One of the things I think Christians miss the most is unconditional love. It’s a tough concept to grasp. This brings me to my final point:

It is possible to support a person without supporting their decisions.

We’ve all heard the stories about the engaged couple we don’t agree with and the battle among the friends on deciding if they are going to go to their wedding or not because they don’t support the marriage. Perhaps you’ve had to decide whether you’re going to a wedding or not, or maybe you’ve just had to decide if you’re going to buy Miley’s new song because it’s catchy but you don’t want to support her craziness. Similar principle.

I don’t preach often. But this is a subject that gets me hyped.

I don’t think Jesus died to give us the power to judge and condemn and make known our opinions. He died to give us life abundant. To not support someone because of their decisions is the farthest thing from the Jesus way of life. Jesus went to the cheating tax collector’s home and shared a meal with him. He hung out with the prostitutes and touched the sick and unclean. And what’s cool is, despite my decisions, regardless of my actions, and irrespective of my choices, He’s there for me and continues to support me. If He didn’t, that would be conditional love, and our gospel would look a whole lot different.

Let’s now apply this to a break up among our friends: You may not agree with The Healing’s decision to end things. That doesn’t give you the right to step in and assume the role of God by judging them based on their actions. This does not give you divine permission to hate them, start a riot and put people against them. That is called slander, and the Word of God is clear about this. You may not have agreed with The Hurting’s decision to date The Healing in the first place. That doesn’t give you the right to bash anyone. People of the Christian world: Can we please eliminate the expectation of meeting a certain living standard to start loving and accepting others? If this were the law we lived by, we would have no need for the cross, and I, personally, would be screwed.

I want to leave you on a lighter note- and I think this video below sums up everything nicely. Watch how Sophia Grace builds up Miley with the truth and just radiates with love for her. Let’s love both The Hurting and The Healing the way these little ladies love everyone!

Sophia Grace and Rosie on Ellen

If you made it this far, then well done!

Over and Out!