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Leadership - MNU Blogs

Lynsie Petersen

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January 21, 2016

It’s Never Too Late For A Peace Treaty

January 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

I hate watching the news. It’s full of hatred and anger. I can’t tell you the last time I turned on Fox News and heard a story of peace and love.

Why is it that we live in a day and age where my Bluetooth speaker can tell me the weather report and my daily schedule, but I can’t feel safe walking out to my car after dark?

This week we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr Day and I sat through a passion filled chapel, but the whole time I was struggling with the concept of “peace”. Dr. King called for it and yet we haven’t gotten any closer in the last 43 years.

In Tuesday’s chapel, Michael Randle spoke about loving God with everything and loving our neighbors as ourselves. “We don’t need justice. We need to extend mercy to one another” -M. Randle

Michael Randle preaching about loving our neighbors.

Michael Randle preaching about loving our neighbors.

Randle spoke about showing mercy to all people, just like God does for us.

Randle spoke about showing mercy to all people, just like God does for us.

We live in a time where things can still be changed. Yes, I’m white, but that doesn’t matter. God calls us to love all people, no matter their race, religion, or walk of life!

I want to leave a legacy worth leaving, so maybe this is the first step. If we join together, we really can change the world. My parents always taught me to leave a place nicer than when I arrived, so why isn’t that applicable to the world we live in?

Isaac Walker

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November 23, 2015

MNU Serve Team

November 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

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Hey friends!

This past weekend was a pretty wild weekend for me, a few other MNU students, and a whole bunch of teens!  The youth groups of Grace Community Church of the Nazarene and KC First Church of the Nazarene left Friday evening and came together to have a joint fall retreat in Oklahoma.  And I am still exhausted!  Also a little sick…But it was totally worth it!  We saw God move this weekend and it was awesome!

The theme for the weekend was Christ Like Leadership.  The first night, Angie from First Church spoke about dealing with our pride, and as leaders, we should be willing to do whatever we ask of those we are leading.

I went as a sponsor with Grace Community and I also played on the worship team with other students from MNU. There were 8 MNU students total that went on this retreat.  Lizzy Atwell, Amanda Lampley, Thomson and Chi Ticum, Blake Owings, Mark Hall, and I were on the band. Maddie Carson came as well and was a sponsor. Lizzy, Blake and I were also sponsors for Grace Community.

MNU gang minus Maddie.

MNU gang minus Maddie.

On Saturday, our very own Blake spoke!  He told the story of Moses and when we are Christians, we are automatically called to be leaders.

We had a lot of free time Saturday between meals and services just to hang out and get to know each other.  There were a few different activities we could do. A lot of people played soccer, some played gaga ball, and others played basket ball.  But one of the most fun things we did was the massive zip line.  After we all got our harnesses on, we walked over to a suspended bridge.  Now I don’t really have a fear of heights but there were a few people there (Mark Hall) who were pretty scared!  I almost fell just from how hard I was laughing!

The suspended bridge.

The suspended bridge.

Once we made it across the bridge we had to walk up a massive, rocky hill to the tower.  It was about that time I noticed how cold it was.  And the farther we went up the tower the windier it got. It was ridiculous how windy it ended up being at the top!  It was worth it though because it was so fun!

Walking to the tower.

Walking to the tower.

Our youth group ready for the zip line!

Our youth group ready for the zip line!

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Sunday, we all woke up early, had breakfast, and went over to the chapel for the final service.  There Roland, who is the youth pastor for KC First Church spoke.  The sermons were all great.  We are fortunate to know these gifted people who are passionate for knowing God and delivering His word, but I got the most from a conversation I had with an old friend.

I worked at a summer camp two summers ago in Colorado.  When I walked into the mess hall for the first time, I saw someone that looked familiar.  Her name was Danielle and she was on my team when I was in Colorado!  I was so excited to see her!  During free time on Saturday I went over to her room and we drank coffee and caught up on life.  I opened up to her about how my life after working in Colorado hasn’t turned out the way I expected and how it was actually a pretty hard time for me and my family.  She told me her story, her struggles and how her life before working in Colorado was turned upside down.  She said something to me that really resonated.  She said “You can tell God you are mad with Him.  He already knows, but it is good to get it out on the table.”  She then went on to say that when we do that, we allow God to walk with us through these trials.  Our conversation really meant a lot to me.

Overall, even though I feel pretty awful now, the retreat was a really good escape from life and school. Even though it was only a few days.  I know I’m not the only one that got something good from it.

The whole GC gang...

The whole GC gang…

No caption needed.

No caption needed.

Until next time friends!

Renee DeVault

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October 12, 2015

Intro to Ministry Retreat

October 12, 2015 | By | One Comment

Friday night into Saturday morning was the Intro To Ministry class retreat, a trip designed to help beginning ministry students get to know each other and their professors better as well as learn new spiritual disciplines, how to “be real” with people, and the importance questioning mind-set. They threw in a gorgeous catholic retreat center and food because they love us and we got to meet and hang out with the professors who will be teaching us as we embark on our quests for a degree from the Department of Christian Education and Spiritual Formation.
It sounded really nice. I would have been happy if that was all God wanted me to learn over our short, less than 24 hour retreat. But I guess thinking I could slide through a ministry retreat unchanged was a tad foolish of me.
As always, I had managed to get myself in way over my head, pulling my brain in a hundred different directions right before I needed it to focus. Dr. Dunn asked the class to handle the introduction, worship, prayer, and devotional for the group on Saturday morning.
When he sent out an email requesting help I responded, in my first week of college optimism, that I would definitely have the time to write a meaningful and well thought through devotional that could potentially impact the lives of a class of future leaders of the Kingdom of God and thus could have eternal consequences, sure thing.
I was a good little student and got my devotional written more than a week before the retreat, had Dr. Dunn edit it for me and felt like I had completed my assignment when I boarded the people mover with some of my classmates on the way to our Catholic Retreat Center.
Friends who happened to share the van ride up

Friends who happened to share the van ride up

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It was during all of the (absolutely incredible and I wish I could nerd rant about how cool they were) “get to know you” activities that I began to question my little ten minute devotional I had written. There was no heart in it, no real call to action. It was all facts and criticism. I was reminded about something Dr. Hayse said in Honors Seminar. I have to paraphrase him but it was basically that criticism is easy but offering a practical solution to the problem is hard.

As we moved into the night to play volleyball and board games I began to worry about it more and more. I wanted so badly to shine for ten minutes of informative Jesus glory but I knew my material was flat. I tried to talk myself out of caring, but it morphed into praying when St. John explained the spiritual discipline the group was going to be practicing that night.

Silence.

He asked us to not say a word to one another or even talk out loud at all for the rest of the night and into the next morning. Silence shows reverence to God, respect. He also urged us to quiet our minds. I was utterly confused about that even being a human possibility. My mind runs a million miles an hour, I constantly have dozens of things on my mind at a time but as we walked into the dark chapel my thoughts slowly began to lessen.

Its difficult to describe exactly what happened. I encourage you to try it some time though I can never promise God will act the same way twice. After our allotted prayer time we were told that we could stay in the chapel and pray or read our bible. I situated myself in the very back and began to pray, then just let my mind be quiet. The next thing I knew God started bringing aspects of my life that I needed to give to him to mind. In order to keep my mind quiet I had to give each thing to him as he brought them to me until everything that I was worrying about was gone. I opened my eyes to find myself alone in this big beautiful building, the only lights shining were on the crucifix up front and on the alter.

It was 1:00 in the morning.

God never agrees with my time table.

It was at that point that I began to rewrite. I opened my notebook, wrote what was on my heart, then at almost 2am I was allowed to sleep.

I woke up without a care in the world. It was an experience I haven’t had since starting high school. 8:30am rolled around, my friends and professors came into the chapel. We read scripture, we worshiped, and I got up to the pew and got to tell people what God put on my heart.

I shared from Jeremiah 29. I am unable to tell you exactly what I said because I threw out my typed manuscript, but basically I talked about how Christians today aren’t all that different from God’s people historically. We have a pattern of being exiled in a foreign land and then called out again. In Jeremiah, God is talking to his people in exile in Babylon. Since we, members of God’s Kingdom, are living here on earth, we are (in essence) exiles as well and thus, I figured since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, that his instructions to his people in exile in Babylon apply to us today.

God basically told them to settle down and work for Babylon, allow themselves to live life there, and called them to work and pray for their country of exile because their lives for the time being were bound up in that nation. However, God then warned about the false prophets and teachings of Babylon, telling his people not to be fooled by thinking their version of good was what God defined as good. He then gave his famous “for I know the plans I have for you” bit and promised to answer them when they called on him and to eventually lead them out of exile.

My devotional was about not allowing our standard for Christian behavior to be set by the culture, becoming comfortable and then being afraid of asking for God’s instructions because our God is one who cares much more about our character than he does about our comfort. I said that when we allow ourselves to use God’s standard to evaluate our lives we are no longer comfortable living as socially accepted Christians. I feel like we can be living in and working for our country of exile for so long that we begin to adopt their ideas as our own, and when we adopt these ideas God calls us to act contrary to them, and when God asks us to act contrary to them we have a crisis of faith, being unwilling to take the risk that God asked us to do. And when we don’t want to take the risk we stop asking God to give us instructions, and when we stop asking God to give us instructions God can grow quiet.

I don’t want to live in a world with a quiet God.

And so I called for two things.

  1. That we would begin to develop a holy discontent for the amount of God’s presence we allow in our day to day lives. I want to be a part of God’s church that has the same revolutionary impact and supernatural power as the church in Acts, but I was convicted, realizing I wasn’t even praying for it.
  2. That we would pray without fear of God messing up our lives. I had found myself avoiding prayer because I thought God would ask me to risk something, that he would make me uncomfortable. I have to stop questioning God’s attempts to make me uncomfortable and start questioning why I allowed myself to get comfortable in the first place.

Some people told me my devotional was really good. I was thankful for their compliments, but really I think it did me more good than it could have done anybody else. I loved it. I loved speaking about what I’m passionate about. I cannot believe the incredible opportunities MNU allows me to have. I got the opportunity to be completely scared out of my mind, learn to listen to the spirit, and get the practical experience of giving a devotional to a room full of professors and future ministers. In all technicality, this retreat was just one large class session. I got points for going, I think. But this was only one example of a time when the boundaries between class and “real life” went away and “school work” became God’s way of doing some “life work” on me.

 

Luther Okeyo

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April 30, 2015

#ThrowBAG Thursday

April 30, 2015 | By | One Comment

A few weeks ago, I completed an assignment for Public Relations class, in which I was assignment to a group and we had to organize an event for a local non-profit company. We chose Kids TLC, an organization that provides shelter and social services to children and youth who are facing abuse, neglect or family disruption, located right here in Olathe. We planned this event basically the whole semester. We had weekly meetings, contacted various people, gathered a lot donations in order to carry out our event. My group had a little bit of everything, a comedian, a perfectionist, a peacemaker, a worker, and an enigma.

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Our glorious leader, Kensi Kitsmiller. She was our peacemaker, she was a benevolent ruler, and she never did anything or order anyone to do anything without making sure everyone was on board with here decisions

Ladies & Gentlemen, meet Armand Banks, our comedian also he was the one who kept track of our notebook and made sure everything that we all did for event was in our notebook.

Ladies & Gentlemen, meet Armand Banks, our comedian also he was the one who kept track of our notebook and made sure everything that we all did for event was in our notebook. I played football with Armand at MNU.

Next we have our perfectionist, Rebecca Smith (aka Becky). As you can see Becky has a son, and well... really she has a lot on her plate. She has multiple jobs, goes to school, and takes care of her son. I'm so impressed with how she handles herself. She was our secretary she wrote downs everything at our weekly meetings and she answered all of our questions about what we were all assigned in each meeting. She by herself almost spent about $100 dollars on our event, (Good thing MNU paid her back.)

Next we have our perfectionist, Rebecca Smith (aka Becky). As you can see Becky has a son, and well… really she has a lot on her plate. She has multiple jobs, goes to school, and takes care of her son. I’m so impressed with how she handles herself. She was our secretary she wrote downs everything at our weekly meetings and she answered all of our questions about what we were all assigned in each meeting. She by herself almost spent about $100 dollars on our event, (Good thing MNU paid her back.)

Now here is our enigma, Mauricio Bobino. This guy is unique individual to say the least. He never really talked  much at our meetings, also he worried us a lot because it seemed like he never understood the task that we given to him, but he always did was he was supposed to and surprised us a lot by going above and beyond in some of his taks. I also played football with Mauricio.

Now here is our enigma, Mauricio Bobino. This guy is unique individual to say the least. He never really talked much at our meetings, also he worried us a lot because it seemed like he never understood the task that we given to him, but he always did was he was supposed to and surprised us a lot by going above and beyond in some of his taks. I also played football with Mauricio.

As for me, I was the worker. I was appointed the graphic designer of the group, and it was my job to come up with some cool designs for the project.

As for me, I was the worker. I just kept my head down, and I did what I was told. I was appointed the graphic designer of the group, and it was my job to come up with some cool designs for the project. 

The idea we come up with (after our first idea was shot down by our teacher) was #throwBAGthursday. ThrowBAG Thursday was a challenge for the day of April 9th, instead of you using your backpack, my group and I are challenged people to carry plastic bags instead. We extended this challenge to raise awareness for homeless kids in Johnson County. We had check points at the library and campus center for chances to enter in a drawing for gift cards and other prizes, but you had to your bag to enter the drawing. Our event specifically highlighted the Kid’s TLC SOS (Street Outreach Services) program, which is a mobile community based unit providing social intervention services to youth ages 12-21 who are couch surfing, getting kicked out of the house, thinking about leaving home, experiencing homelessness as a part of a family, or living on the streets. I loved our idea and I had a blast designing stuff for it.

PR Flyer

I mean come on, you guys tell me what you think.

I also played of the whole throwback thursday thing, also I brought back someone that well… everyone should know (but some of you younger kids have no idea who this guy is).

Yes thats right I brought back Steve Urkel from Family Matters.

Yes thats right I brought back Steve Urkel from Family Matters.

I mean if this guy doesn't catch you attention, and make you read the flyer, then idk what else would do.

I mean if this guy doesn’t catch you attention, and make you read the flyer, then idk what else would do.

Our event was a massive success, all over campus you could see people, walking around with plastic bags and raising awareness for the SOS program.

We even had a lot of MNU staff and faculty participating. Here is the marketing office getting ready to join into our event.

We even had a lot of MNU staff and faculty participating. Here is the marketing office getting ready to join into our event.

Kensi and Armand are getting the last preparations together before we kicked off our event.

Kensi and Armand are getting the last preparations together before we kicked off our event.

Throughout the whole day we we had over 400 MNU students and staff take part and it was amazing.

Students like Mario, were essential to making our program a success. Mario told everyone about our event and I can't even imagine how many people took part in our event because he told them about it.

Students like Mario, were essential to making our program a success. Mario told everyone about our event and I can’t even imagine how many people took part in our event because he told them about it.

Here are a couple of our models. Trent Hedlund the MNU starting QB, and Lafaele Passelio the starting LT. These guys were excited to be our models and I made sure they were shown all over twitter, Facebook, instagram, and snapchat.

Here are a couple of our models. Trent Hedlund the MNU starting QB, and Lafaele Passelio the starting LT. These guys were excited to be our models and I made sure they were shown all over twitter, Facebook, instagram, and snapchat.

Our event ended with a speaker from Kids TLC talking to some of people who entered our drawing about what they can do to help the homeless in Johnson County and giving them some facts about homelessness.

Our event ended with a speaker from Kids TLC talking to some of people who entered our drawing about what they can do to help the homeless in Johnson County and giving them some facts about homelessness.

I was so honored to raise awareness and do what I could to help Kid’s TLC and their SOS program. Our event so was so successful, and you already know we received a good grade on the whole. What was the grade you ask? Idk yet, I’ll find out when the final grades come out.

Katie Linsey

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April 23, 2015

MNU to Drexel, Missouri

April 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

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


-KT

Luther Okeyo

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April 1, 2015

The Track Season is Underway!!!

April 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

Well the track season is here and the HCA (Heritage Christian Academy, in case you didn’t know) Track & Field Team has been working hard getting ready for the upcoming season. We have about 40 kids running track this year and in the few weeks I have been able to work with them, I’ve seen amazing growth and last Thursday we had our first meet… The Sherwood Invitational which was in Creighton, Missouri and there were 6 other schools competing with us as well.

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The Varsity Squad (high school) did great. You could tell that we still had some work to do, but overall Coach and I saw some great potential and you already know that I’ll get them ready for the next meet.

You know what… I just realized that I haven’t even  told you guys anything about these guys. I will but first… I gotta be honest,coaching these has been such a blessing. It is awesome that I am able to pass on the little that I know about track to these kids. They are everything a coach would want in athletes. they work hard, they listen (well most of the time), they want to get better and are always willing to learn. Despite all these positives, there is one big negative, (well it wouldn’t be as fun if it was good all the time) they do whine a lot but what do you expect from and I’m willing to put up with whining like it but  if they are going to give me their all when it comes time to compete.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the head honcho, the boss lady, the lady with the master the master plan, Heritage Christian Head Track Coach Christen Moore.  I wish you could just sit and talk to her, she is a kind and gentle soul ( I know the picture doesn't look

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the head honcho, the boss lady, the lady with the master the master plan, the Heritage Christian Head Track & Field Coach, Christen Moore. I wish you could just sit and talk to her, she is a kind and gentle soul (I know the picture doesn’t show it but she really one of the kindest people I have ever met.) She has two kids who also run track for Heritage Christian and they are studs by the way, but they are in middle school and their first meet isn’t for another week. She is a nurse and and she teaches a class for other upcoming prospective nurses how to pass their nursing exams. Oh yea she also runs MARATHONS! Yea… I’m not kidding… marathons and she is going to be running at the Boston Marathon this year!

We were missing a couple people from our varsity squad due to other commitments and I’ll introduce you to them later but here are the members of the Heritage Christian Varsity Squad:

First of all we have our arguably two best athletes. They are actually playing two sports right now, they both also play soccer. Allan on the left and CJ on the right. Allan ran track last year and he primarily runs the short distance track events. He ran the 100, 200, and was apart of our 4x100 relay team. CJ has never ran track before but boy it sure didn't look like it. He balled out and Coach Moore and I are so excited to see him develop as we keep going through the season. Both of these guys did great and they made a lot of noise at the track meet so now we can't hid them from anybody anymore. Well so much for strategy

First of all we have our arguably two best athletes. They are actually playing two sports right now, they both also play soccer.

Allan on the left and CJ on the right. Allan ran track last year and he primarily runs the short distance track events. He ran the 100, 200, and was apart of our 4×100 relay team. CJ has never ran track before but boy it sure didn’t look like it. He balled out and Coach Moore and I are so excited to see him develop as we keep going through the season. Both of these guys did great and they made a lot of noise at the track meet so now we can’t hid them from anybody anymore. Well so much for strategy.

Here we have Ross and Mathew. They are our distance runners. They are a couple of quiet guys who just take their lunch pail to work everyday and get the job done, in a manner of speaking.

Here we have Ross and Mathew. They are our distance runners. They are a couple of quiet guys who just take their lunch pail to work everyday and get the job done, in a manner of speaking.

Ross on the left and Mathew on the right, both of these guys run track last year for HCA as well. Ross is a guy with a lot of potential, during the meet coach and I figured out that his best race is the 800 (2 laps around the track as fast as you can… yea I know it sounds terrible.) But he also ran the 400, was apart of the 4×100 relay team, and he threw discuss. This guy is just a jack of all trades. Mathew reminds me a lot of myself, he runs basically the same events that I did and he has the same body type as me. (Unfortunately he isn’t as funny as I am, but I’m nowhere near a survivalist like he is. I’m pretty sure if there was a zombie apocalypse or something this guy would know what to do.) Mathew came in second in high jump, but he also ran the 1600, 800 (he actually beat Ross… I smell a rivalry brewing!), and was apart of the 4×100 relay.

Here we have two members of the squad (#squadgoals, sorry I promised them I would put it in the blog) Katie aka "elbows" and Bonnie aka "cheeks". Unfortunately the other two members of the squad Annie and Abby (who are twins by the way) were on vacation in Florida at the time and couldn't be apart of the meet.

Here we have two members of the squad (#squadgoals, sorry I promised them I would put it in the blog) Katie aka “elbows” and Bonnie aka “cheeks”. Unfortunately the other two members of the squad Annie and Abby (who are twins by the way) were on vacation in Florida at the time and couldn’t be apart of the meet. All 4 members of the squad are all cheerleaders for HCA.

The squad is inseparable. You should’ve seen them when they all got together on Friday after the meet. It was ridiculous it was the twins were gone for like a month or something but they were really only gone like 5 days. I guess now I know the meaning of true friendship. They do everything together at practice and I mean EVERYTHING! They warm up together, run together, they all talk at the same time and can still carry a conversation, they even laugh at the same things, I’m always amazed at how in synch they all are. Anyway, Katie ran the 100, 200, 400, and threw the shot put. I call her elbows because when she ran she never moved them, to be honest it was really weird. In practice I kept screaming elbows at her so she would move her elbows and pretty soon the name just stuck as her nickname. If you’ve been paying attention you probably already guessed that Bonnie ran the EXACT same races that elbows did. I call her cheeks because she reminds of Alexis Pacheco who plays softball for MNU, who I sometimes baby cheeks, because her brother Kyle who used to attend MNU and I played football with… his nickname was cheeks. So now the nickname is going around.

Last but not least is Kelly aka Machine Gun Key (yea like that one guy). Kelly is stud and she has never ran track before this year. She plays basketball for HCA. I posed with her because she didn't anybody to pose for a picture with her eveyrbody was already taken but you know I got a fresh cut for the meet tho!

Last but not least is Kelly aka Machine Gun Key (yea like that one guy). Kelly is stud and she has never ran track before this year. She plays basketball for HCA. I posed with her because she didn’t anybody to pose for a picture with her everybody was already taken but you know I got a fresh cut for the meet tho!

Kelly is everything in a track runner I wish I was in high school. She is a leader, she always wants to learn more, she is constantly asking questions in order to get better. All while publicly stating that she HATES track, as matter of fact she DESPISES it. It’s amazing that she never ran track before. She won her heat in the 100 (and it wasn’t even close). She ran the 100, 200, she long jumped, and threw shot put. I called her Machine Guy Kelly cause she is rapid fire in everything she does. I’m so excited to watch her run this season.

Our next meet is actually tomorrow (aka Thursday, April 2) in Ottawa, Kansas for the Ottawa Invitational. I am not going to that meet, I’m staying behind to train the middle school kids. I’m bummed I can’t go but I get to run practice my way this time and I can’t wait to run these kids into the ground… Hahaha just kidding… or am I?

Oh yea… Happy April Fools Day.

Aaron Merrell

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March 29, 2015

Cracking Down

March 29, 2015 | By | One Comment

Hey everyone,

Not sure what to blog about this week, so I figured I’d just talk about what’s going on.

It’s coming down to the wire here at MNU, with just a month left of school, and it seems like I have something stressful going on in every part of my life.

Thursday night, we had our second Awakening. This time, we had it outside on the circle lawn, and it was SO good. The setting was perfect, and we got closer again to accomplishing what we’ve set out to do: to see our campus set on fire for God.

Today, I visited a different church than my home church and had a great time. It’s called Mission Church and it’s in Lenexa, KS.

Tonight we have Nazzy Night Live. It’s being put on by ASG and it’s basically the MNU version of SNL. There will be sketches, videos and even a jazz band. I led a group that came up with a few of the sketch and video ideas, and we think we did a pretty good job, but tonight’s audience will be the judge of that.

I’m looking forward to serving as the ASG Director of Social Life for the next school year. Tonight after Nazzy Night Live we’re having a meeting about a leadership event we’re attending called Nazarene Student Leadership Conference (NSLC). The event is being held at our Nazarene sister school, Olivet Nazarene University. We’re all very excited to go and learn about how to be an effective leader and work as a team.

Presley Wilson is the current ASG Director of Social Life, and I’ve started training and shadowing under her. We are in the process of getting things ready for our end of the year event, Glow With the Flow, so you can definitely expect to hear about that in a future blog.

My church’s annual egg hunt, Eggstreme Eggstravaganza, is coming up this Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited to see a bunch of little kids running around a field picking up plastic and candy. Kidding. It actually will be a really fun event, and a great community outreach opportunity however.

That’s what’s coming up in my life, thank you so much for reading.

Have a good week!

-Aaron

Luther Okeyo

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February 12, 2015

A Job Opportunity

February 12, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

So just to let you guys know, I have been looking for a job for a while now and I finally go a got found a job that was interested in me enough to have me come in for an interview. The place I’m interviewing at is Heritage Christian Academy, it’s on 159th and Black Bob. I know this is going to sound kinda bad but it’s like MNU, if MNU was high school or middle school.

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This is me walking into Heritage Christian… I can’t describe to you how nervous I was, but I made sure that at least I wasn’t going to look bad for this interview and you already know my flat top game was on point.

 

Heritage Christian was looking for an assistant track coach and I saw the job posting on the job board on the MNU portal.

You guys should really use this thing. If you need a job just go to your portal and its under the undergraduate tab.

You guys should really use this thing. If you need a job just go to your portal and its under the undergraduate tab. There are plenty of jobs on their but you gotta be quick and call before the job are filled. They have everything from babysitting to being a receptionist.

I met with the Athletic Director, Tammi Wolt. She actually has 3 kids who also go to Heritage Christian. Two of them actually run track. I ran track in high school. I ran the 400 and the 800, most of the time I ran both events in the same track meet. I also long jumped, ran 4×1 relay, and 4×4 relay.

This is me running the 4x4 as you can see I'm moving at a near light speed pace, thats why the camera is having a tough time taking a good picture.

This is me running the 4×4 as you can see I’m moving at a near light speed pace, thats why the camera is having a tough time taking a good picture.

I loved running track in high school it’s too bad that MNU didn’t have a program when I came in. I sometimes wonder how good I could have been if I pursued a collegiate track career but that is another dream for another lifetime.

I can remember all the meets, the hard work and the painful breaths after victories. As you can see I have some top flight emotional support helping me out here.

I can remember all the meets, the hard work and the painful breaths after victories. As you can see I have some top flight emotional support helping me out here.

Anyway I thought my interview with Tammi went well and she is a big supporter of MNU, I think that really helped me out (BONUS POINTS!!!) Heritage Christian looks like a great place for me to lay down roots as I start to venture into the world. The kids at the school are nice, and you can see really feel that spirit of God flows through that place. It would be a wonder to work there, to help the kids get better on track and for kids and Heritage Christian help me get better on spiritual walk with Christ.

So I got the job and it's time to celebrate, looks like I'll be starting Monday. I'm so excited for this new opportunity.

So I got the job and it’s time to celebrate, looks like I’ll be starting Monday. I’m so excited for this new opportunity.

SO I GOT THE JOB!!!! I’M TOO PUMPED RIGHT NOW!!! CAN’T WAIT TO GET TO WORK!!! I’m excited if I can’t tell. They didn’t even let me leave the building, I met the Dean of student life we talked for a little bit and now I can’t wait to meet the head coach and get right down to business. I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it.  I don’t know the rest of the song goes but you get the idea. WOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Luther Okeyo

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February 10, 2015

The Willmer Family

February 10, 2015 | By | No Comments

Willmer Family @ Arrowhead

The Willmer family after our 21-17 thriller win over #2 Missouri Valley at the defeat all cancer game at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Willmers are a pretty cool family. You have Coach Willmer  and his wife Lindsay, Emma (12) who is on the left, Addie Joy (10) on the right, Titus (6) who is wearing the Rangers shirt, and the twins Gwenyth & Nehemiah (4). I can honestly say I have never met another family like them.

First of all you have the twins Gwenyth & Nehemiah. Gwenyth is a little fireball of energy and don’t worry you’ll see what I mean in the video. She wouldn’t have let me leave her house until I played hide and seek with her and she is pretty good so I was at a disadvantage from the start. She loves to say amen a lot and she is so adorable.I can’t forget her twin Nehemiah, this guy looks like a future pioneer in the making. He reminds me a lot of myself back in the day. Except he has way more energy than I ever did when I was his age. Where do they store this energy? He isn’t a shy kid and I dare to sit down and talk to him for a few minutes and not fall in love with him. He is just too cool.

Next, you have Titus. I can’t really figure him out. In the video I don’t think Titus said three words, but after I done shooting the video, boy did he have things to say. I played UNO with him, Coach Willmer, and Lindsay. He is NOT a nice UNO play. I can’t tell you how many times he hit me with a draw 4, or skipped my turn. Once Titus has you down in UNO, he will never let you back up. Titus along with his family love MNU and football, but you can tell he just loves them both a little more.

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Here is Titus playing with my Wide Receiver coach Matt George after our win against Benedictine.

Finally you have the two older sisters of Emma, and Addie Joy. Emma is like a second mom, and she takes care of the younger kids like good older sister should. She loves to read and I could tell she is really into school. Also she loves that Kansas is lower-key than California. Addie Joy is also big into school. She is a very soft spoken, and person. Trust me I can attest to that, through the many hours I spent editing the video trying to get her voice to be louder. These girls were so nice and really went out of their way to make sure like I was apart of the family. They are great role models for their younger siblings as they all grow and mature together.

Emma and Addie Joy enjoying the game at Arrowhead.

Emma and Addie Joy enjoying the game at Arrowhead.

Last semester I had the opportunity to interview Coach Willmer and his family for the MNU newspaper… The Trailblazer. It was an amazing experience and I was able to see a side of coach that most people wouldn’t be able to see. For example: you never want to play UNO with Coach Willmer trust me you just don’t. Anyway before I even began the interview, coach stopped me and we proceeded to have dinner. After dinner I played hide and seek with his kids and UNO with whole family. It was an awesome time, I had so much fun that I almost forgot about the whole reason I went to go see coach and his family in the first place. I ended up making a video of the interview I had with Coach Willmer and his family. The video should be up by the end of the week, I’d love to just show the video but my hands are tied. Don’t worry though, I have some outtakes and things that didn’t make the final cut.

For example: like when Coach Willmer and his wife were almost on a pilot for an HGTV show.

Also I caught I little touching moment between a father and his son.

Finally, I had coach and his family talk about the difference between MNU and Azusa Pacific. Azusa was the school where he was previously coaching at. He was the defensive coordinator.

The Willmers are a pretty cool family. You have Coach Willmer  and his wife Lindsay, Emma (12) who is on the left, Addie Joy (10) on the right, Titus (6) who is wearing the Rangers shirt, and the twins Gwenyth & Nehemiah (4). I can honestly say I have never met another family like them.

First of all you have Gwenyth, she is a little fireball of energy and don’t worry you’ll see what I mean in the video. She wouldn’t have let me leave her house until I played hide and seek with her and she is pretty good so I was at a disadvantage from the start. She loves to say amen a lot and she is so adorable.

I can’t forget her twin Nehemiah, this guy looks like a future pioneer in the making. He reminds me a lot of myself back in the day.

Luther Okeyo

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November 13, 2014

A Very Special Veteran’s Day

November 13, 2014 | By | No Comments

As you all know Tuesday was Veteran’s Day and now matter how you feel about the military, you just have to sit back and admire the sacrifices that they endure everyday to keep us safe, and help us enjoy the freedoms we have today. Just like Coach Willmer told us the other day, “Our freedom isn’t free, somebody else pays for it.” This day is now very special to me, you never really realize how important something is until it hits you personally. For me, this day is about my friend Cory Ellis and his family.

This is one of my best friend's Cory Ellis. He is a marine stationed in Japan. He is coming home in a couple of days, from his first tour of duty. I'm so proud of him and I'm honored to be friend and grateful for the sacrifices he made. I can't wait to see him again.

This is one of my best friends Cory Ellis. He is a corporal in marine core. He is stationed in Japan. He is coming home in a couple of days, from his first tour of duty. I’m so proud of him and I’m honored to be his friend and grateful for the sacrifices he made. I can’t wait to see him again. 

It takes a special kind of person, to able to take on the commitment that the armed forces require. The Ellis family knows that commitment all too well. First things first, this family is like my second family. They embraced me and made me when one of their own, when I was just a stupid kid high school who didn’t know any better. Some of the best moments in my life were made with this family. For example the creation of the wolf pack, the 4th of July incident, and I can’t forget the Fall Fridays when I had meatball subs before football games. They are a blessing, and I can’t even imagine who I would be  if they were were not apart of my life.

The Ellis kids in all their glory. This was when Cory graduated from boot camp. There is Cory in the middle (the oldest), Ryan on the left (second-oldest), Colin on the right (second-youngest), Morgan (youngest) in the middle.

The Ellis kids in all their glory. This was when Cory graduated from boot camp. There is Cory in the middle (the oldest), Ryan on the left (second-oldest), Colin on the right (second-youngest), Morgan (youngest) in the middle.

These guys are a collection of characters but I love each and everyone of them to death. As you know Cory went into the military, he is a corporal in the marine core. Cory has probably the sharpest wit this side of the Mississippi, he has a comeback for everything, and when you think you finally got him, that’s when you fall into his trap. Ryan is an enigma all of his own, you never really know what he is going to do, but I’ll tell you this right now don’t underestimate him, this little guy has more heart than anyone will ever give him credit for. Now we have Colin, this kid is just nuts sometimes. Yet you can always catch him in the some spot, downstairs in office, usually watching Netflix. He also wants to go into the military when he graduates from high school like his big brother. He scares me a little bit, but I can’t wait to see the man he becomes. Last but certainly not least we have Morgan, the baby of household, (sorry Maddie). She is just a little bundle of joy, who can catch you slipping at any moment. She always knows how to brighten my day or completely tear me down, but I don’t care I still love her.

The parents, Glen and Tammy Ellis. Glen's nick name is Papa Ellis, and I just call Tammy Mom.

The parents, Glenn and Tami Ellis. Glenn’s nick name is Papa Ellis, and I just call Tami, Mom. They were high school sweet hearts and they’ve been married for 22 years

Lets start with Papa Ellis (sorry mom), Papa Ellis served in Air force. He technically still serves as a reservist. He is also a police officer for Simi Valley Police Department. He is just a big teddy bear, a little bit too old school but that’s why we love him. Don’t let him fool though, this guy still has it. Just ask Cory. Everyday this guy does all he can to provide for his family and then when he steps out of the house, he goes and protects the people of Simi Valley. He is always there for his family no matter what. He is the man, I aspire to be. Ok now here we have Mom, the best way to describe her role in the family is to have watched the movie Remember the Titans. She is basically Denzel Washington aka Coach Herman Boone in a sense. In the immortal words of Coach Boone, “This is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship!” Mom is the same way, she is just and fair, but is not afraid to put her foot down. She treats everyone the same no matter who you are. She is 2nd toughest woman I know behind only my own mother.

The Ellis family is also a sports family. All the men in the family played football (I played with Cory in high school). Colin however took it to another level and also wrestles in high school. Morgan is a cheerleader and is insanely flexible. Ironically Tami is the only one, who never played a sport, but she is one of the loudest fans you will ever meet. I can’t tell how many games, I could hear her screaming at us over everyone else in the crowd, plus she doesn’t care who will hear her. She has even called me out on the carpet a few times, when I dropped a ball, or had a bad play during my high school playing days. That’s just who she is and there is no one else like her.

Anyway, this is my second family. I can’t wait to see them when I go back home for winter break. I got some stories for them and I can’t wait to hear their stories either and also have one of the famous (well to me) Ellis meatball subs. Also to all the men and women out there put their lives on the line for us here at home or anywhere else in the world, thank you so much for your service. I know it may not be said enough but I am grateful for all you do for us. Come back home safe and rejoin your families and hopefully one day, I have a chance to give a little back to you for all you have given to us.