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Jesus - 3/5 - MNU Blogs

Mario Flores

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January 24, 2014

11 thoughts

January 24, 2014 | By | No Comments

So yeah, just 11 thoughts that I wanted to share. Here they are written out:

11. It’s always a frightening moment when you’re not sure if all that came out was just gas.

10. There is no “morning after” or regret when a person follows Christ. (Without going into any details, there have frankly been times in my life when I woke up in the morning wishing I had made different decisions the previous day.)

9. Faith, particularly faithfulness to Him, is risky.

8. Vulnerability too is risky; but I have found that the reward far outweighs the cost.

7. Don’t just mask the smell… with Deodorant, or cologne, or body spray, or Febreeze… Instead: take a shower, or wash your clothes, or clean
your room, or all of the above. But consider doing all of the former on top of the latter.

6. Procrastinating only makes sense for a little while, but eventually…

5. All real truth is God’s; fear not where you find it.

4. Virtually everyone, at every level, enjoys and learns best through stories.

3. Err on the side of grace; often we have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes.

2. I’ve learned that whenever I flush the toilet, I will no longer leave my eyes open.

1. He isn’t just an all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent Being; He is a Person, He feels, He loves, He cares-for all; all includes you.

P.S. this video would not have been possible without it being shot and edited by a great and talented friend of mine: Blake Nelson. Blake is one of the Resident Educators for our school. If you read last week’s blog, just know that he’s a “friendly, neighborhood” kind of guy.

Joey Alligier

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January 22, 2014

Don’t Panic in the Pool

January 22, 2014 | By | No Comments

Welcome to Life.

Here we provide ups, downs, loops, and a few corkscrews.
I know what you’re all wondering; where’s the map to get around this giant?
Wellllll, let me tell you.

There isn’t one.
(per say: let’s be real, the Bible gives answers in example and truth)

Day to day life can be full of surprises, letdowns, build-ups, and utterly devastating moments.

As cliche as it sounds, how you react is key.
Let’s say you’re driving without insurance, accidentally, and you kind of bump into another person’s bumper.
WHAT TO DO?!?!
Keep calm and be an adult.

My mom has always had some of the best advice; from communication to swimming.
She always said, “Don’t panic in the pool, you’ll drowned.”

This life is a pool.
images
Like, a really big pool.
pool11

Keep in mind, every obstacle or gift is an opportunity for the Lord to use you.
The struggle gives hope to others and the blessings give hope to others.
We can be a light in the good and the bad.
We can be a light when life happens.

Welcome to life.

Here we provide opportunity for growth and development.
Here is where you determine your future DESPITE ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
Here, is where you need to start. 

Keep on and keep God,
Joey

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

By

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

By

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