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Renee DeVault

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January 25, 2016

Them there Crazy Christian People

January 25, 2016 | By | One Comment

Sunday night my small group gathered together in Weatherby chapel, sat in a small circle on the floor at the front, and spent the next two hours praying together and singing worship songs. I wish this was more normal for us and in time I hope it will be.

It got me thinking though…why isn’t this more normal?

Why do I feel uncomfortable praying for more than thirty seconds or worshiping without a leader or even a single guitar?

Jesus said in John 15 that the world will hate us as Christians because they hated him. We have been chosen out of the world. This is a theme all through the bible. In Exodus 19 God describes his people as a holy nation, a people set apart for him.

Being set apart naturally means that we will not fit into what is considered “normal” in this culture.

In 1st Peter we are called (depending on translation) aliens, foreigners, sojourners, and exiles and are told that we will be spoken against by the gentiles, or, metaphorically, people who haven’t accepted God’s Kingdom. As aliens, members of God’s kingdom living in this earthly kingdom, our actions will naturally be different because we are of a different people group.

Just think about the insanity that we are accused with when we obey God. Isaiah 55 explains that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. When we become obedient and align our thoughts with God’s thoughts and our ways with God’s ways we cannot help but look foolish to the world because God’s thoughts and ways are different from what is traditionally accepted.

We’re freaks and weirdoes.

At least I believe we should be.

I began to wonder, while in my worship and prayer session, about something my pastor asked us this Sunday. He asked if all of our decisions made sense. He asked if the way we live appeared completely normal by worldly standards. Do we put our own interests first, do what seems logical, and spend our free time enjoying ourselves or are we something radically different; a wild, exotic freak.

Think about quitting a high paying job to pastor a small church. That doesn’t make sense.

Think about spending hours on end in prayer and worship. That doesn’t make sense.

Think about giving generously and without even thinking even when you don’t logically have the money to spare. That doesn’t make sense.

Putting others above yourself, loving your enemy, and taking care of the poor don’t really make sense.

Even talking about God in everyday conversation seems odd to me at times. I could go for days without bringing up God in my personal conversations with my friends and it would be perfectly normal by cultural standards.

Christianity doesn’t make sense within the value system of our culture because these actions put value on something other than personal gain, enjoyment of life, comfort, and money.

These are the kind of crazy things that I want to be normal for me. I want a new normal. To do this I believe I need to reconnect with my homeland, with a God utterly rejected by this world, and begin to think thoughts that that aren’t my thoughts by nature and live in ways which would not be my traditional ways.

This requires a flipping of the perception of what is valuable. Prayer and worship is valuable. Other people are valuable. Generosity, following God’s instructions no matter what, and trusting in him are valuable. I want it to be normal for me to discuss him with my friends in casual conversation because he is what I want to be the most important to me. And people talk about what is important to them.

This is all simple obedience which stems from the joy of catching a glimpse of the greatness of our God and the magnitude of the mercy he has on us. That messes with a person.

It’s about obedience. These “crazy” things may seem impossible to do, but if God has called us to them, we can do anything because he will give us strength (Philippians 4) and we will find contentment in our lives. Plus, God’s plans are to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future (Jerimiah 29) so that “crazy” thing is for your good…I’d say it’s probably best to do it.

So at least in myself and with my friends I’m going to try to make that a reality. I want to be seen as illogical and crazy. I’m praying for that right now. It’s scary, but also very fun. I’d challenge you to do the same.

 

Isaac Walker

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January 15, 2016

A Look Back On My Break

January 15, 2016 | By | One Comment

Hey friends!

So this week concludes the first week of classes of second semester here at MNU.  Personally, I am not fully recovered from Winter Break.  It is a strange feeling because I was ready to come back to school.  Being a young adult and going back home is kind of weird.  My mom still wanted to know where I was going, who I was with, and when I would be home.  It really did not make me angry.  It was just kind of inconvenient because living here on campus, you get use to not having to tell anyone any of the details of your outings.

Thankfully, for most of my break I was not home.  The day MNU got out for winter break, I hopped on a plane with my younger brother and flew to Pennsylvania to see our father.

We were on the plane by 6:30am...We were not the happiest people on the plane.

We were on the plane by 6:30am…We were not the happiest people on the plane.

Once we got to PA, we were going non stop till the 31st of December!  I had one, and only one request though.  I HAD to see the new Star Wars movie.  Thankfully that was an easy request for our dad to fill.  I loved it with all my heart.  Also while we were with our dad, we did a lot of hiking.  We hiked along various parts of the Appalachian Trail.  I had never been hiking in PA before and I was kind of surprised how beautiful it is. Here are a few pics I took while we hiked.

This part of the Appalachian Trail went through a field. This is the lowest part of the entire trail.

This part of the Appalachian Trail went through a field. This is the lowest part of the entire trail.

This is where it started to get super rocky. It was awesome but very exhausting.

This is where it started to get super rocky. It was awesome but very exhausting.

We did not walk the whole trail. I found out it is actually pretty long. Here is a selfie I took at a pretty high point of the trail.

We did not walk the whole trail. I found out it is actually pretty long. Here is a selfie I took at a pretty high point of the trail.

Another pic from the high point. My big head isn't in it. Your're welcome.

Another pic from the high point. My big head isn’t in it. You’re welcome.

We did some other activities.  My dad had to work a few days so me and brother hung out at his apartment some.  We did not have access to a car, so we rode bikes around the cool town our dad lives in.

Young Asher on his bike.

Young Asher on his bike.

When we were not riding bikes, we were watching court shows on tv.  I became addicted to them…Judge Judy is my new #WCW.

One of the last days in PA, we drove Washington DC.  I had never been before and it was pretty awesome!  Sadly Obama was not there and I did not get to meet him…

We parked in the garage of this insanely nice hotel.

We parked in the garage of this insanely nice hotel.

Our first stop was to the Holocaust Museum. Not much needs to be said about it. It was beautiful, sad, amazing, and heart breaking all at once.

Our first stop was to the Holocaust Museum. Not much needs to be said about it. It was beautiful, sad, amazing, and heart breaking all at once.

Here is the Washington Monument. This is as close as I got...

Here is the Washington Monument. This is as close as I got…

As you can see, this is the one and only White House. Obama did not come out to say hi and the security guards outside would let me any closer...

As you can see, this is the one and only White House. Obama did not come out to say hi and the security guards outside would let me any closer to look in the windows…

We took a lot of selfies...I think my dad just discovered what they were and wanted to take them all the time!

We took a lot of selfies…I think my dad just discovered what they were and wanted to take them all the time!

After PA, we flew to Florida to meet our mom there.  We stayed with her brother and his family.  We went to the beach, an old military fort, and did some shopping.  We were there from January 1-6.  Here some pics I took while in FL.

Took this on the plane ride from PA to FL.

Took this on the plane ride from PA to FL.

It was pretty gloomy every day in FL, but it was still nice out.

It was pretty gloomy every day in FL, but it was still nice out.

This is a group photo of all the cousins and their significant others.

This is a group photo of all the cousins and their significant others.

This is me and my cousins precious, little child Lincoln Deahn.

This is me and my cousins precious, little child Lincoln Deahn.

Overall, I really enjoyed my winter break.  I got to spend it with loved ones I do not get to see regularly anymore.  At the same time, I am happy to be back here at MNU.

I hope you all had a great break and that you got to spend it with people you love you!  I hope this next semester is the best one yet for you all as well!

Until nest time friends!

Isaac Walker

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January 6, 2016

My New Year Resolutions

January 6, 2016 | By | One Comment

Hey friends!  It is five days into the new year and I have been doing some thinking.  Looking back, last year was not necessarily the best year of my life.  It was actually pretty rough on me.  Through all that, I have grown to be the person I am now and I think I have handled this past year very well. I have grown a lot from all of the trials I faced.  I made amazing new friends and strengthened the relationships of friends I already had.

I want to continue growing and becoming the person God wants to be this year.  With that, I have a few resolutions for this year.  I think I had made some every year and never followed through a single one!  I am kinda lame when it comes to things like that…But I have a good feeling about this year.  So if you all don’t mind, I am going to share some of my resolutions for this year. These are in no particular order and some are not quite as deep and serious as others are, but they all are important to me!

  •  Start a book and actually finish it.
    • I cannot tell you how many I have started reading and never finished.  Some books I started more than once!  I actually am about to finish a book I started a few months ago, but I want to start and finish one in the same year.  And a year is a very long time to give myself for one book!  I really am not that slow of a reader.  I just wont read it often.
  • Learn a new skill and become better at a preexisting skill.
    • I am taking a painting class this upcoming semester and honestly, I am a little scared!  I have never really painted seriously like that before.  I love Bob Ross, but I never even thought about attempting to replicate his visionary masterpieces.  So we will see how that half of this resolution pans out.
    • Some of you may know me as the violin guy that plays in chapel.  Well you are wrong.  It is actually called a viola.  It is similar to a violin, but it sounds better.  That is a skill I would like to be better at.  I literally never practice my viola and I know for a fact that if I did, I could be so much better.  I am not trying to be cocky or conceded, but when one practices, they get better.  I also sing.  I would go far enough to say that I am a good singer, but I know I have a lot of room for improvement.  I could increase my range and I could have better control of my voice.
This is my very own viola. I think I have been playing for about 11 years now.

This is my very own viola. I think I have been playing for about 11 years now.

  • I want to start exercising more regularly.
    • Last summer I took a yoga class at JCCC and the semester before that I took a gym class at JCCC and just used their work out facility.  I dreaded it every day but I felt really good from all the exercise.  Now I do nothing…I get winded walking from Colony to the caf…So many people I know work out regularly.  When they tell that they work out, I can feel the condescending tone in their voice.  What they really are saying is “Yes I know I am better than you”.  I want to be that person.  I will probably just run in the evenings or something.  Nothing too crazy.
  • Start a YouTube channel.
    • As I mentioned before, I love to sing.  I even write song lyrics from time to time.  For years I have wanted to start a YouTube channel where I posted covers.  I even would love to start one with my best friend Chelsea.  I follow a variety of different YouTubers and I know I could do what they do!  Me and Chelsea are just as funny and ridiculous as Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart.  We just aren’t famous!
For those of you who do not know her, I am sorry. This is Chelsea. We have been froends now for about 10 years now.

For those of you who do not know her, I am sorry. This is Chelsea. We have been friends now for about 10 years now.

  • I want to be more organized.
    • I am the worst procrastinator I know.  Every semester I start out using my planner like a boss.  I write everything I need to do in it, but by the second month I forget that it even exists.  It gets buried far down in my backpack.  That is when I forget about things.  Long term assignments are my worst enemies.  I put them off till the very last minute.  This semester I want to be on top of things better.  I will finish my assignments long before the day they are due.
  • Keep a daily devotional all year.
    • This may seem cliche and basic but I am serious!  I have always been encouraged by my mom to do this.  Over the many years of my short life, I have  accumulated quite a few different devotional books.  I have started a few of them, but not to my surprise, I did not stick with it.  I have My Utmost For His Highest and I have heard a lot of great things about that devotional.  If anyone has any recommendations, shoot them my way!
This is the daily devotional I am going to do every day!

This is the daily devotional I am going to do every day!

Here are some more with less detail:

  • Climb a 14,000 ft < mountain.
This is Mt. Beirstadt. I hiked up this mountain over the summer with Kairos.

This is Mt. Beirstadt. I hiked up this mountain over the summer with Kairos.

  • Get all my assignments in on time.
  • Figure out exactly what I want to do with my life.
  • Get a Chia Pet.
Chia pets are just cool.

Chia pets are just cool.

Now I know I will not accomplish all of these.  I will be happy with myself if I do one of these!  But I am going to try gosh darn it!  But in all seriousness, I am very excited for this new year.  I have a feeling God has a lot in store for me.  And I know that it is not going to be easy.  I am thankful for all the people He has put in my life that have helped me along the way and that are going to be here for me this year.

Happy new year friends!  I hope you all have an awesome year full of God’s blessings!

Until next time.

Renee DeVault

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December 8, 2015

Slaying the Stress Monster

December 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

This week is insane.

It just is.

The week before finals everyone either seems to walk around like zombies who have given up on life or are running around like overly caffeinated squirrels trying to get everything done at the last minute.

I have taken to switching between the two pretty much on the hour.

I would prefer not to talk about the things that are causing me stress (as they are all my fault for putting them off). However, I would absolutely love to talk about the way God has blessed me with ways to keep me sane.

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For example, Gabe stole my phone during lunch earlier in the week. Usually it would have made me upset but looking back on it, and the billions of pictures my poor phone was subjected to, it just really makes me happy that I have such goofy friends.

They constantly do things that make me smile and most of the time they aren’t even trying.

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My friends have really become like a mini campus family. We eat meals together, make fun of each other, support each other, sit in silence and do work, and then make fun of each other some more. We’re living life together. That’s my favorite part of college so far.

I love explaining what I’m learning about in class to them. As a communications major communicating about communication to the people I most often communicate with, it makes me very happy.

I have an unhealthy nerdy obsession with learning, but it’s made even more fun when I can wave my arms around like a crazy person and explain why I am so excited. Even if they don’t think it’s as absolutely fascinating as I do, they at least humor me to let me talk about it. I appreciate that.

I also enjoy the random theological discussions Jordan poses in our group chats or when somebody asks for prayer, or when we’re able to vent about some life frustration that we just need somebody to listen to.

Another awesome stress reliever has been Action Pact, MNU’s improv team.

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Improv is a form of live performance comedy in which  the actors make up everything on the spot, often asking for audience participation. I am on both the main improv team as well as the smaller Serve Team which travels to churches and does shows on weekends.

The main team did a show on Saturday night which was just too fun for words. It was our Christmas show so we got to dress up and many of our sketches had a Christmas theme.

Tickets to the show were $5 and those who came sat at a table in the Black Box theater and enjoyed cookies and hot cocoa.

I love improv because it requires little to no preparation on my part. That means no agonizing over lines, trying to remember where to stand, or making sure my voice or inflection is quite right. I just have to understand the rules of the game and then act on instinct.

I lose track of time when on stage with this team. An hour long show feels like almost five minutes. Not only is it fun to perform, but I also get to watch what hilarious and often awkward things my teammates do.

This kind of performance requires a lot of trust. I have to put myself out there on stage and say whatever I feel needs to be said and I need to be able to trust that they aren’t going to leave me out to dry. They constantly support me and have my back.

I wonder if any studies have been done on if there is a relationship between trust on stage and trust in real life? Or maybe trust on a team (like football or soccer) and trust in real life? I feel like they would subconsciously go together…just a thought. I should look into that.

Isn’t college great? I bet I could ask some professor about that and they would give me six books, a web address, and the name of someone they “have a connection with” who is an expert in the field.

Either way, I find I have gotten closer to members of the improv team by just allowing them to see pure, unadulterated, crazy me.

And they haven’t run off screaming yet so that’s a plus.

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Another great thing about school this year which has really helped me to de-stress is the knowledge that everybody living around me is in the same boat.

We all have finals. We all have to deal with the cold weather and the last minute assignments and the random frustrating bursts of sickness which always come at the worst moments. Even the professors have finals stress. They have to grade assignments and deal with all of us students going to them for last minute help.

It’s kind of nice to go into the library and see a whole flock of poor students frantically doing assignments and coveting the few precious outlets in which to charge their laptops. They understand me when I put down my backpack with a heavy thud and mutter “ugh!”. Often, they join me.

So I guess we all have to learn to help each other out.

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We have to, like my friend Justin does, clear dishes in the caf for our friends because we know it is a way to help them out.

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We have to squeak into town, after going home for the weekend like Alex did, and rush to Bell Center in hopes of hearing the last song of the choir concert that our friends have worked hard to put on.

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And we have to show up in the library when someone says they don’t want to study alone like Jordan did for me earlier today.

We have to take care of each other.

We have to take care of our professors, realize they’re people too. They’re not trying to ruin our lives, they’re just trying to do their jobs. We like when they make life easier for us, we should try our best to make life easier for them.

We are in a community centered around hope and love which comes as a graceful extension of God’s love to us. He never promised us that things would be easy (and really, we have it so easy compared to what some other people are going through right now) but he did promise to never leave us.

So we need to be willing to bring ourselves to God and not forget about him as we have a million other things on our minds.

Staying connected with God will help us to better serve our fellow students, be a blessing to our faculty, and hopefully keep a fragment of our personal sanity.

So that’s the three things I’m praying for this week

1. That I will not forget who really holds me accountable. It’s not my grades that matter in the end, but who I am as a person, and the amount that I have invested in casting my cares on God and trusting him to help me be the best student I can be.

2. That I will remember my fellow students; remember to care about what they’re going through, and not allow myself to think I’m the only person with problems or stresses.

3. That I will remember my professors: remember that they are human beings, like myself, just trying to do their jobs and live a Christ-like life to the best of their ability. I want to remember to trust that they know what they are doing and remember to pray for them in their efforts to help us while still remaining fair.

Best of luck y’all.

Hailey Kendrick

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December 8, 2015

Does love at first sight exist?

December 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

Recap:

Many studies have been done to test the mathematical factors of true love.  In this video I talk about a few studies I researched and found interesting.

With all religion aside, what’s your best chances of finding the “one”?

To watch a few TedTalks on the topic…click HERE…or HERE

P.S. I’ll apologize in advance for the dancing at the end. :)

I hope every one has a GREAT winter break & spends time with the ones they love.

Hailey Kendrick

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November 10, 2015

Dating at MNU

November 10, 2015 | By | One Comment

For those who don’t know, I have a boyfriend that doesn’t go to MNU. Austin attends Saint Mary’s in Leavenworth, KS (the polar opposite direction of Olathe.)

Even though I get to see all these happy couples together on campus, sometimes I’m happy that he doesn’t go to the same university as me. One reason being that he is incredibly competitive with me; the other is that “Ring by Spring” is so real it’s scary.

Here at MNU, if you sit with a member of the opposite sex 3 or more times, you are automatically considered dating. Oh my. I hear you all gasping now.

One of my friends, Caleb, decided to make a video about the dating culture at MNU…featuring yours truly.

Please enjoy.

Renee DeVault

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November 9, 2015

Let’s Be Freaks and Weirdos Again

November 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

A lot of things can happen during a show week. When you’re forced to spend almost thirty hours in one week with the same group of people, crazy things are bound to happen.

Brigadoon was last week and, like most of the “fun” things I try to do on campus, God managed to wrangle his way into it.

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I’m not going to talk about the show its self–although it was totally awesome, everybody in the cast did a fantastic job, the crew rocked as did the pit, and the male lead was absolutely wonderful (I think he’s super cute too. For anyone who doesn’t know, Quinn, my boyfriend, was the lead).

The really cool stuff was what happened with my friend group back stage, after the show, exhausted, and just hanging out.

I don’t know if you have ever gotten a verse stuck in your head, but the whole week I had the same one.

John 13:35 states, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

This verse is right after Jesus has washed his disciple’s feet, had the Passover meal, and called out Judas for his future betrayal. Not to make an understatement, but these disciples were going through or about to go through some pretty serious stress: a lot of it in their relationships with one another.

When Jesus was crucified, I wonder how many of them thought their whole group would separate forever. I mean, in all logical reality, the twelve of them never should have been together to begin with. They were an odd group to say the least.

However, when I think about the church of Acts it talks about them eating meals together, meeting at each others’ houses every night, praying for one another, and confessing their sins to one another. Later on it is obvious how much Paul loves everybody in the church and how much they loved Paul.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” right after Jesus told them to love one another as he loves them.

This whole idea had been bouncing around in my brain while I did this show. I was spending more time with these people then ever before. With my closest friends, I was even choosing to stay up late: sitting with them and listening to problems they were having.

Why don’t people talk anymore? Really, really, talk?

What evidence is there that we really love one another? Posting “I love you!” on somebody’s Facebook or just saying it in passing just doesn’t seem real, not when compared to the kind of biblical brotherly and sisterly love we see as part of the early church.

I know my friends and I aren’t perfect. I am a self diagnosed freak and no offence to my friends but they are far from being relationally perfect as well.

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My friends laugh whole heartedly at this photo, for example

Ally Tinker (My Phantom gift giver during the show) made me a dinosaur hoodie. They made fun of me about it too like true friends.

Ally Tinker (My Phantom gift giver during the show) made me a dinosaur hoodie. They made fun of me about it too like true friends.

I think the key difference is being willing to tell people what needs to be said.

This could be me confessing something about myself that had been eating me up inside, or it could be telling a friend something that I know they need to hear. Both situations make things awkward.

It’s ok sometimes to be awkward.

Jesus washing his disciple’s feet was awkward.

Jesus sharing about his giving of his blood and his body was probably awkward.

Jesus telling Judas he knew he was going to betray him would have definitely been awkward.

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Love is weird.

I had to think about it. Why would I want to stay up to all hours of the night/morning talking about personal issues? Why would giving a stressed out friend a back rub, helping them with their makeup, or stopping in the middle of the street to legitimately ask them if they are alright be a normal thing?

It all hit me hard when, at Midnight Thirty (12:30 AM for those who don’t speak Renee), a friend texted me and asked me to bring them soup from Walmart. My gut instinct was to show the text to someone else who I knew loved this person, and before I knew it, I had a car-full of people who had previously been gung-ho ready to call it a night after a long and exhausting week of the show. We love each other.

I want my friends to be able to tell me absolutely anything they need to, and I don’t want to have a drop of judgment for, or resentment towards, them because I know there is a common grace. I want to be a relational freak, that one weird person who will say things that I culturally shouldn’t say to people and drop everything and go to their aid like a total weirdo if need be.

That’s my goal for relationships at MNU. I don’t want to attend a Christian University, have mostly Christian friends, and be able to leave without knowing what it’s like to love people to the point of it reflecting God himself.

Two things I’m praying for this week as rehearsals no longer force me to see certain people every single day…

  1. That I can somehow channel God’s love towards me into the way I relate to my friends. Jesus was radical in how he formed relationships and I need help so why not learn from him.
  2. That students at MNU would refuse to settle for casual. We were designed in the image of a being intimately dependent on three separate persons that all make up one God. It’s beautiful and complicated and engrained in our very being. Faith cannot be purely individual. We need to rediscover our need for each other.
Mackenzie Theiler

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November 5, 2015

– – – – – Traveling to New Places – – – – – ✗

November 5, 2015 | By | No Comments

The adventures have begun . . . . . . Two weeks ago, got a three day weekend! MNU calls it “fall break.” It is really just a Friday off from school, but I was not complaining! So, I made a spontaneous decision, to get away for the three day weekend. I needed to take a break from all the midterm exams and studies.

When people ask, what city I am from in Northern California, I say, Sacramento. Why, because it is the closest city to me, for someone who, does not truly know California. I am actually not from the city, nor am I a city girl! I am actually from the country, and I am a country girl at heart!

What better way, to start exploring new places, than to drive to Nashville, Tennessee. For those of you, who have never been there, you must go. The total drive time from Olathe, Kansas to Nashville, Tennessee, was about 8.5 hours. Fun Fact about how big California is:  From my house, I can drive to Eugene, Oregon, in about 8.5 hours. It was the most perfect weekend to be in Nashville. There were so many events going on! The Tennessee Titans had a football game, along with the college team Vanderbilt University. The Nashville Predators (hockey team) played the Pittsburg Penguins; Nashville lost by one. They also held the Ragnar Relay Serious, it was a 200 mile relay race from Chattanooga to Nashville. Multi-team race with 6 people on each team. The last thing Nashville had going on was a Political Meeting. I also got to see the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. They were not lying when they say, “Nashville is lit up in neon lights” at night. Broadway is the main strip where everyone goes in their country boots and cowboy hats to have a great night. On the Broadway strip they have really scrumptious food places. This was an eventful and awesome weekend to be in Nashville, Tennessee!

#PopularIceCreamSpot

Mike’s Ice Cream – Voted one of the top three ice cream places to go to in Nashville, TN. Waiting in a block long line was worth it!

Red Velvet Ice Cream

Red Velvet Ice Cream 😋🍦

 

#ChickenMacandCheese

The Stillery – This five cheese layered mac and cheese monstrosity topped with a spicy buffalo chicken breast was the BEST dish I have had in a while.

 


Facebook: /kenzie.theiler
Twitter: @kenzietheiler
Instagram: @kenzie_theiler

Renee DeVault

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October 19, 2015

How to Make Friends with the Awkward Dinosaur

October 19, 2015 | By | No Comments

One question that I get asked all the time is, “Renee! My goodness, you are a college student now, what ever is your major?”

I reply with “Good Sir or Madam, I am a double major in “Bible and Theology” and “Communications”. I love it very much.”

To which they reply, “Good heavens! What an unusual combination! What ever do you plan to do with your life?”

And they receive from me a blank look of alarm because despite my air of cool collectedness I am quite uncertain of my path in life. This fact never really bothers me unless somebody asks me about it. I know I am supposed to be a Bible and Theology major. I know I am supposed to be a communications major. I know I am supposed to be at MNU. I’d say I’m pretty well off for now.

As my boyfriend Quinn (Quinston Churchill, Quintonamore, Quinny-the-pooh, Because of Quinn Dixie, Quinn to the Woods) often tells me, “God doesn’t give you the tickets until you’re ready to board the train.”

Quinn and I at homecoming this weekend

Quinn and I at homecoming this weekend

So I’ll be content waiting at the station with my bible and giant communications text book nerding out over communications theories and how they relate to the bible and my group of friends.

Speaking of friends, I had a lot of fun this homecoming!

Friday night a group of us went down into Kansas City for an adventure

Friday night a group of us went down into Kansas City for an adventure

Quinn and I love going on adventures like these with our friends

Quinn and I love going on adventures like these with our friends

We often compare Jordan to Ted from How I Met Your Mother so we made him take this photo with a dumpster

We often compare Jordan to Ted from How I Met Your Mother so we made him take this photo with a dumpster

We found an alley with art all over the walls. It was insanely cool stuff and we had a lot of fun with it.

We found an alley with art all over the walls. It was insanely cool stuff and we had a lot of fun with it.

Quinn had a brilliant idea to start posing with the art.

Quinn had a brilliant idea to start posing with the art.

Alex and Shakespeare

Alex and Shakespeare

We went to "Thou Mayest",  an awesome coffee shop in Kansas City

We went to “Thou Mayest”, an awesome coffee shop in Kansas City

We got up on the roof of the coffee shop and had a cool view of the city.

We got up on the roof of the coffee shop and had a cool view of the city.

Saturday afternoon we decided to go to the Cider Mill.

Saturday afternoon we decided to go to the Cider Mill.

Sparkling cider and donuts made an awesome pre-homecoming snack

Sparkling cider and donuts made an awesome pre-homecoming snack

Homecoming was incredible. Quinn and I have a fun habit of attempting to ballroom dance to pop songs

Homecoming was incredible. Quinn and I have a fun habit of attempting to ballroom dance to pop songs

Sunday afternoon we went to IKEA for dinner and adventuring

Sunday afternoon we went to IKEA for dinner and adventuring

Throughout our adventures this weekend, one of my communication theories stuck out in my head. Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor’s Social Penetration Theory basically states that deeper intimacy and closer friendships with people can be achieved through a process of self-disclosure and vulnerability.

It explains personality like an onion where, to get to a person’s core, you need to get through layers of more shallow or obvious information. It encourages, to gain more meaningful and intimate relationships, voluntarily opening up to people with both depth and breadth. This basically means letting people know who you really are, what you really think, and letting them have this information for multiple areas of your life.

There’s a lot more to it, but that’s the key point.

When we first studied this theory (sorry Dr. Hamilton) I thought it seemed nice, but I doubted that simply telling deep and diverse stories would lead to close friendships. I thought personality, similarity, and spending time together would be bigger factors, however, when I was out with some of my friends this weekend I began to think about this theory a little bit more.

Our trip to the city brought out conversations of various Kansas City experiences and city experiences in general. When we got to the coffee shop and were walking around we got into a conversation about experiences with spiritual warfare and our vision for Kansas City as a church. This formed into a conversation about our personal strengths and weaknesses.

Our cider mill trip sparked conversation about fall and Halloween family traditions which led to talking about our families and fall traditions we miss now that we’re in college.

Going to IKEA led to conversation about our future plans and dreams.

These are some of my closest friends. Over the course of a single weekend we hit several topics of conversation and we have known each other long enough to be comfortable in talking about things we wouldn’t usually talk about with casual friendships. We were naturally participating in this communications theory without even realizing it, but now that I’ve learned about it I can use it to make other friends.

But self-disclosure involves vulnerability which is difficult to do. In order to grow in my boldness to share to and be open with potential close friends I have turned to the bible.

In 2 Corinthians 6:11 Paul writes “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.”

The Beginning of James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

So as I love and appreciate my friends, I realize that I can’t keep my spiritual life, struggles, visions, and dreams a secret from my friends. It’s in the Bible and in my Communications Text book so I should probably listen to it.

I’m the girl who runs around IKEA acting like a raptor from Jurassic Park…I need all the help making friends I can get.

Points I’m praying over.

  1. I want to be willing to be real with my friends. If God is really the center of my life I want to be willing to talk about him and my relationship with him including struggles and visions. I want to be vulnerable to my friends so as to better the kingdom of God.
  2. I want to be the kind of person that people feel comfortable opening up to without fear. As deep of information they want to give and about any subject they want to give it I want to be trustworthy enough in their eyes to be someone to have a close friendship with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Linsey

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October 7, 2015

What Forgiveness Is – And What It Isn’t

October 7, 2015 | By | One Comment

Recently, I’ve had to forgive people for some things that I wish didn’t happen. Through the process of apologizing and forgiving, I came to realize that my definition of forgiveness was skewed. I assumed that forgiveness came with certain expectations and stipulations, but the truth is, it doesn’t.

On Sunday, my pastor talked about forgiveness, and what he said was nothing short of a revelation to me. Here’s what he said…

Forgiveness doesn’t make someone’s sin okay.

Forgiveness doesn’t deny hurt or offense.

Forgiveness is not always a relational reset.

And here’s what I got from what he said…

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean burying the hurt that you feel. It doesn’t mean that you have to force yourself to forget what happened. It simply means that you are no longer giving yourself the right to judge someone based on what happened.

Forgiveness doesn’t always result in things being back to the way they were before. It may mean that the relationship drifts apart, or even ceases to exist. And that’s okay.

I used to get frustrated when I would forgive someone and then still remember the hurt I felt, or when things wouldn’t go back to normal and I thought I had forgiven them the wrong way (or maybe not at all).

Ephesians 4:31-5:1 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Love people. Forgive people. Don’t be angry or bitter.

But don’t bury hurt. Don’t force relationships. Don’t ignore sin.

It’s a fine line, and sometimes I feel like it contradicts itself – but I do know that the Bible says to love and forgive… and that’s solid truth.

I’m still learning how to fully forgive, and what that looks like. I’d love to hear your input if you have any to give.

Thanks for reading, friends.

-KT

P.S. If you’d like to watch the sermon that my pastor preached, click here.