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Jesus - 3/4 - MNU Blogs

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

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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!

 

 

Haley Raydo

By

October 26, 2013

Looking Back In Time… 50 Years From Now

October 26, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

Earlier today I was at lunch with my grandma, mom, and sister.  We just shared and talked about things here and there, when my grandma mentioned her 50th college reunion she had attended last night… 50th? My grandma was in my stage of life over 50 years ago! She even said, “There were so many old people!”  My grandma, definitely young at heart, is someone I have looked up to my whole life.  She is bold and carries the joy of the Lord wherever she goes.

My grandma playing piano with me back in the day.  My baby sister is sitting on her lap.

My grandma playing piano with me back in the day. My baby sister is sitting on her lap.

After going home, I wondered what my life would be like after 50 years.  Would I accomplish my goals and dreams? How do I make sure I stay on the straight and narrow?

I decided to call her and ask her some of the questions I had been asking myself.  I heard her sweet “hello” on the other end of the line, and immediately smiled.  She is just that type of person that can brighten your day.  I explained to her my request and she began talking about her reunion.  “People said nice things. ‘I accomplished this, and I did this, and achieved these dreams.’  They were good, but it was all about me me me and I didn’t hear anything that glorified God.”  I found that interesting as she explained more about the different classmates she had talked to.   “There is two ways to do things, Haley, you can plan out your life and do the things you want by your own strength, or you can live a life that follows God plans and that glorifies Him.”

This is a hard thing for me.  I have a problem with trusting God.  Most of us have heard the Proverbs 3 verses that says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  It is one thing to hear these words, it’s another to follow them to the ultimate extremes.

I decided to pick a word of the year this last January.  I had had a hard couple of months leading up to this, emotional and physical ups and downs that just kept piling up. I felt as if I was in free-fall, unsure of where I would end up.  But in January when I decided to pick a word, I heard the Lord strongly say TRUST, trust, trust.  It has been a rough road since January, but I felt God keep saying trust.  When I needed emotional and physical healing and had not received it as immediate as I had hoped–I heard the word trust.  When I was stressing about picking a college to attend–I heard the word trust.  When I was tired from working long days all week long–I heard the word trust.  It has followed me everywhere, and listening to my grandma has brought it back up again.

It may be easier at this point to plan out your own life, follow your own dreams, and use your own strength to finish it out.  It is a lot harder to trust.  But my grandma says she has had the best life.  “Nothing is more exciting than living for the Lord.”  I think the difference in where you’ll end up at your 50th college reunion is whether you trusted the Lord with your life or not.

As a personal challenge for myself and to you if so choose, is to not be those people at your 50th reunion that only talk about your own accomplishments.  Be the person that glorifies God, and lives the exciting life of trusting in His plan.  You can live it out now, starting by asking God to reveal His plans for your life.

“Looking back now, I see God’s hand in my life in every direction I turned.”  I asked her how one would get to a place 50 years from now and see the imprints of God.  She told me that it all starts with praying and asking God to reveal talents and gifts, and to choose daily to give the glory of God.  This may take a lot of trust, but it is worth it in the end.

Anyways I hope that is encouraging! Sometimes I think it is good to look at life from the future looking back, to evaluate where we are in the present.  Here are some verses to look at if you want to be encouraged through the Word about this:  Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, Psalm 46:10, Psalm 37:4-6, Hebrews 13:8, Matthew 6:25, Psalm 28:7, John 14:6, Psalm 91:1-16

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Follow me on tweeter and insta: @haleyraydoo   @mnublogs

Mario Flores

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October 25, 2013

Here’s to one of my favorite peeps and my favorite season at MNU: Randy Cloud and Autumn

October 25, 2013 | By |

The following pics of trees and their leaves may not be interesting to those of y’all who are familiar with the Midwestern Fall seasons, if that’s the case with you, good for you that you got to live and experience such beauty for so long!!

Look at that color that contrasts so well with the tree right beside it!

Look at that color that contrasts so well with the tree right beside it!

So this photo and the one right before it were actually the first fall pics I took and I even sent home last year to my folks! Even though this wasn't so new to them:P

So this photo and the one right before it were actually the first fall pics I took and I even sent home last year to my folks! Even though this wasn’t so new to them:P Also, right behind the orangey pinkish tree is Lunn, that’s where I work! To the left of the photo is where I walked past in my first vlog on my way to Campus Center!

 

So here's pic1 of a red leaved tree right outside Weatherby chapel.

So here’s pic1 of a red leaved tree right outside Weatherby chapel.

 

Here's pic2 of that same tree right outside Weatherby. Friends  even the leaves die beautifully here!

Here’s pic2 of that same tree right outside Weatherby. Friends even the leaves die beautifully here!

 

Here's one in transition that's just outside Metz.

Here’s one in transition that’s just outside Metz.

Anyone else think this is shweeet!?

Anyone else think this is shweeet!?

And just a taste of winter with this frozen leaf!

And just a taste of winter with this frozen leaf!

 

Now some of you may be thinking, “This guy is just another typical California tree hugger…” Well… for the record I have never hugged a tree. But I am proud to say that I recycle paper!! Genesis 1:29-30, God had Adam and Eve take care of the earth with all its living creatures, so I’m secure in whatever judgments you make:P

 

Onto to Randy Cloud:

Here's Randy in Philosophy. He never hesitates to do things out of the ordinary in order to help us remember that which we need to.

Here’s Randy in Philosophy. He never hesitates to do things out of the ordinary in order to help us remember that which we need to.

In this case we were learning about Emmanuel Kant. Kant helped introduce people to the idea that it is our reason that interprets what our senses tells us regarding reality. Yes, I was paying attention

In this case we were learning about Emmanuel Kant. Kant helped introduce people to the idea that it is our reason that interprets what our senses tells us regarding reality. Yes, I was paying attention

As astonishingly intelligent Prof Randy is, he said that "I just grabbed the first marker available" It wasn't so bad having a sharpie mark on his forehead, but he was going to be meeting with some higher-up administration people that afternoon. I'm sure it went well regardless:P

As astonishingly intelligent Prof Randy is, he said that “I just grabbed the first marker available” It wasn’t so bad having a sharpie mark on his forehead, but he was going to be meeting with some higher-up administration people that afternoon. I’m sure it went well regardless:P

"I know where everything is in my office. If you moved something, I'd know." I still haven't gotten the courage to test his proud proclamation. Also my friend Tyler Hall is in this pic. We were both waiting for Randy (Our Advisor) to help us with scheduling next semester's classes.

“I know where everything is in my office. If you moved something, I’d know.”
I still haven’t gotten the courage to test his proud proclamation. Also my friend Tyler Hall is in this pic. We were both waiting for Randy (Our Advisor) to help us with scheduling next semester’s classes.

 

 

Randy: So I think I've figured out what I'll do to my office to allow room for more books. Me: Randy your crazy- Randy: I'm just going to remove the ceiling tiles and install shelves that will hang down. It'll be great. Me: Randy do you think you're a hoarder? Randy: No. I just really am a lover of books and have a hard time parting with them....which could lead to hoarding...

Randy: So I think I’ve figured out what I’ll do to my office to allow room for more books.
Me: Randy you’re crazy–
Randy: I’m just going to remove the ceiling tiles and install shelves that will hang down. It’ll be great.
Me: Randy do you think you’re a hoarder?
Randy: No. I just really am a lover of books and have a hard time parting with them….which could lead to hoarding…

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Here’s him not yet ready for a picture.

And here's Prof. Cloud, this time ready and posing with his "Miley Cyrus face".

And here’s Prof. Cloud, this time ready and posing with his “Miley Cyrus face”.

Britney Lewis

By

October 15, 2013

In A Few Words Or Less…

October 15, 2013 | By | No Comments

streamleaves

 

In a few words or less

I could tell you what I like the best.

I like tea.

I’m not a big fan of coffee.

Ha!

My favorite season happens to be Autumn.

I like the way the leaves change colors before they crumble and fall. I like how it smells like Halloween for thirty-one days, and then how everything loses it all.

I’m also obsessed with the spring rain.

The sound of the pitter-patter against my window pane drives me insane–but in a good way.

The thunder and the smell of it all makes me want to grab my favorite fleece blanket and crumble into a ball. It’s like heaven and earth have collided–there’s so much beauty, I can’t even describe it.

But

What I love the most.

More than writing…

More than this day…

More than this single, effortless, complete breath.

Is God’s endless compassion and grace for us. He wanted us so much that he sent his only, begotten son to death.

And we don’t deserve it, we never do, yet he takes our guilt and shame and humbles us. He wraps us in his giant arms because he loves us.

Day after day, hour after hour, and moment after moment; slowly, but surely, we fall into this intense, crazy love for Christ.

We reach the heist–the top of the hill where as no other beating organ could replace, comprehend, or pinpoint entirely how we feel.

And I wish I could say it simply–with one word…with one sentence.

with a few words or less.

But it’s too difficult; it’s an irredeemable, hot, flustered mess.

Even as I type this–my laptop warm on my lap–I can’t conjure the right words to finish this post.

The love I have for him, our host, consist of more than the two-hundred and ninety-eight words I already have.

It’s an underlying question that I have never had the courage to ask.

Like I said: It’s not simple. It’s the most indescribable, unconcealed, picturesque love I have ever had the pleasure to taste.

It’s that sweet kind of love, the love you could never, ever hate.

So with a few words…or more

Here’s some words for the heart

The soul,

and the core.

 

Till next time blog world!

Love,

Britney

 

Joey Alligier

By

September 26, 2013

Kickin’ it Old School

September 26, 2013 | By | No Comments

Well, in honor of Throwback Thursday, let’s take a trip down the memory lane of
Joseph Blake Alligier

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Starting off I was born premature at 27 weeks, addicted to illegal substances, and I also had a brain atrophy. In short I wasn’t supposed to live and when I did, I was not supposed to walk, talk, or really function in a sufficient manner. Little did the world know,
this is where my life would start.

*fun fact- my biological mother is 4ft 8in, Caucasian, has blonde hair, green eyes, and no recollection of who my father is. Just let that sink in and then take a gander at my features…

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Shortly after I was born I was adopted by my Great Aunt Karen, who from this point on would be; “Mom” and the best one I could ask for at that. Another twist in the plot is that my name changed. It went from being Izrael (Izzy) DeShawn to Joseph Blake (Joey was chosen based on the premise of a nurse’s comment and a babysitter’s dream) after official adoption. I like this change as well. About three years later we adopted my half sister Brieana (same biological mother, different dad). Yes, you got it, my Mom was brave enough to adopt two kids Oh, and did I mention she was 48 at this point and divorced with 2 other kids already basically raised.

Yes, yes, she is a superhero.
Mom by day and Mom by night.

As my life progressed I was extremely blessed. I was raised in the church, attended a private school for 6 years, and the Lord always provided. 


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From the pictures above you can see I may have been a bit too blessed…..
Let’s just say my cup, or in this case plate, runneth over. From 2nd grade to about mid junior year of high school my weight fluctuated. Whether from delicious fast food brought in by the private school to having a “too-comfortable” attitude while having a girlfriend during my sophomore and junior year of high school. Below is the time span of all four years.

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Some parts of my story are definitely more serious than others, but they both serve a purpose. My life has been formed by my story and where I have “traveled” in my own little Haysville, Kansas world. Sports, extra-curriculars, clubs, organizations, friends, family, struggles all have played their part in who I am today. In the search to find out who I am, with mistakes and successes, I have learned to lean on the Lord and his promises; even when I wondered off the path of the Christian life and had NO idea what I was doing.

*this is all an overview and not necessarily the depths of my story,
FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS!

Needless to say, I am a changed man today. I owe all of it to the Lord’s choice of vessels in the foundations I obtained when I was younger and through the years and also to MidAmerica. I can truly say my time here has helped me to take a 180 degree turn in a lot of areas. This summer was ESPECIALLY a part of that. The best part is that I’m still growing with no plans of relenting. I’ll keep going where He leads me #fuhdayz 

IMG_1739In the midst of the #throwbackthursday you have seen the past of my life in multiple facets. I hope it gives you some sense of satisfaction; maybe the sick kind of seeing my fat pictures or the joyful kind of seeing my superhero of a mother.

Take a second this week to take a look into your own life and the people who share in the same community and “Kick it Old School” by reminiscing on your fat pictures or hopefully how God has transformed you.

Keep on and keep God,
Joey

*for more fat pictures and other information on my life check out my Instagram- @praya_warrior

Mario Flores

By

September 13, 2013

Attention Caught? This is my attempt at a clever title.

September 13, 2013 | By | One Comment

I must say, being a Pioneer is fo shizzle the bomb.
Before I move into telling you why, I’ve decided to share with you why I chose MNU in the first place. So sit back, (or forward- whatever is most comfortable for you) and (hopefully) enjoy reading a little bit about my story.

I am a Pastor’s kid. In fact, I’m a Nazarene pastor’s kid. Meaning, I’ve grown up going to and being brought to Church my whole life. And actually, I’m grateful for it. I’ve got amazing parents that love Jesus, love each other, and they love us kids. I am the youngest of four. I am from SouthEastern California, El Centro to be exact. A relatively small agricultural border town community.

I played football the first three years of high school, ran four years of track, and two weeks of soccer (We can discuss that later). I’ve grown up playing sports, but playing at MNU is still more of a DREAM than a reality… mainly cause we’re bosses at pretty much all our sports, and i’m no boss… Anyway, I enjoy playing the guitar. I started playing the summer going into my senior year and starting next Tuesday I’ll be teaching two guys in my hall all that I know!

Now to my choice of MNU.
I chose MNU over several other schools for a few deliberate reasons.
1. The Faculty and staff seem to be predominantly genuine lovers of God and lovers of people. More than just talk the talk, they authentically care for people, extend grace, and are patient (again this is in general). Anyway seeing that type of a person live their life in such a way obviously makes me want to learn from them!
2. The Community is off the chain. When I came on an extended SCOUT visit, I stayed in Snowbarger. While I was here, rather than being treated as some little high schooler, I was treated as a friend that just happened to be a couple years younger. I dig that.
3. Frankly I wanted to get away from home. Not that those who live close to MNU shouldn’t come! But for me, I wanted to get away from California and familiarity. I figured that if I went to a place where I wasn’t really known or knew of anyone else, I’d be forced to be more independent and be forced into “clinging” to God-depending on Him for support and family. I testify today that He is faithful to provide.
4. Referring back to the Faculty and Community, the attitude/atmosphere seems to be intentionally Kingdom-minded. What I mean by that is that the rhythms and standards and events and policies are attempts to make an environment that is Christ-centered and Christ-like. For the sake of others we choose to live the way we live. For example living in the dorms, we work to observe quiet hours when it’s late at night and early in the morning. This is because when you’re trying to sleep, people yelling in the hall or blaring their music often makes it harder to fall asleep. For the sake of others we choose to live the way that we do. I really dig that.

Finally (for now), after my first year of college officially in the history of mankind, I confess that I came away satisfied. And now that I am four weeks into my Sophomore year, I am still really enjoying it!
College is different from all of my previous school experiences. Most distinctly is in the fact that I now live and eat with the people that I go to school with. It makes for more “relational-building” time. For that I am ever grateful. I’ve got a great roommate, and the guys in my hall are stellar. I’ll be sharing more about them later on-some are in the photo above! For now though

Eeet's the Baist, I lave it! (Read that in a Nacho Libre accent and it'll make sense) Also, that's my car :D

Eeet’s the Baist, I lave it! (Read that in a Nacho Libre accent and it’ll make sense) Also, that’s my car :D

I’m going to say toodles and peace in the Middle East friends!

Grateful in Him,

Mario Paul Flores