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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.

 

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

Katie Linsey

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March 12, 2015

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week

March 12, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

This week is Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week at MNU, so I thought I’d take a few moments to give some shout-outs to a few faculty/staff members that have made a personal impact on my freshman year so far.

1. Laura Hahn

Laura is amazing for too many reasons to list. To name a few, she’s selfless, encouraging, genuine, and really stinkin’ cares about the residents on campus. She goes out of her way to serve others on a daily basis, which is something I look up to a lot. She is also hilarious and easy going… it’s good to talk to her for some de-stress time. Thanks for being you! And having an awesome dog.

2. Pete Brumbaugh

I’ve mentioned him on my blog before, so you all probably already know that he was an amazing boss for the fall Phonathon. I haven’t worked for him in months, but he still makes an effort to keep up with my life. I love chatting with him in Campus Center and I am confident that he truly cares about all students on a deep level. Thanks for being a friendly boss, even when you’re not technically my boss.

3. Professor St. John 

I am almost positive that Professor St. John makes everyone’s list. He deserves to be appreciated for so many reasons. He cares about students on a crazy awesome level. His interactions with all students are so meaningful and encouraging. He has a pretty rad Instagram account, too. Thanks for taking time to eat lunch with students and sharing your wisdom with this campus.

4. Kelly Chesley

Kelly is an awesome and encouraging student blogging boss. It’s so fun to see her when we have meetings, or when I randomly show up in Dobson to chat for a bit. I know that she truly cares about all of the bloggers. She gives great advice and encourages us to be the best we can be. Thanks for giving me opportunities to use my talents/hobbies on campus and encouraging me in many ways.

5. Kim Campbell

Kim rocks. I know that whenever I see her on campus, I will be greeted with a sincere smile and have a great conversation about whatever is on our minds that day. I know that I can trust her to have my best interest in mind when it comes to anything in my life. She’s super positive, encouraging, and genuine. Thanks for being a light in my life!

6. Amy Curtis

Amy is so nice and smart… those are the first two words that come to my mind when I think of her. I don’t get to chat with her as often as I’d like, but I know she’s always there if I have a question about blogging (HTML is difficult… I couldn’t survive it without her). Thanks for always smiling and being helpful!

Those are just a few of the many faculty/staff members that have made an impact. I appreciate every single one of them. They each make this campus a beautiful place in unique ways.

Students… make sure to tell your “favorites” that you appreciate them!

-KT

Pete Brumbaugh and Gideon’s Army (Phonathon Team 2014)

FASAW1

Laura Hahn and a few freshmen making a snowman.

Professor St. John taking a selfie with the crowd at a basketball game. (Photo courtesy of @prof_ksj Instagram account)

 

(Unedited version of cover photo courtesy of @mnupioneers Instagram account)

Katie Linsey

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March 6, 2015

#MNUSLR

March 6, 2015 | By | One Comment

Two weekends ago, some students from MNU went on a Spiritual Life Retreat, where Dr. Fine spoke about having a spirit of faith. It really impacted my faith life, and I could go on and on about what the Lord revealed to me through Dr. Fine, but instead of rambling for hours, here’s the main takeaways from the weekend.

  • It’s important to be in the Word, establish a Sabbath, and enjoy solitude/meditation/listening to God.
  • Get scripture in your subconscious.
  • Know who you are and what you have in Christ.
  • Being in the Word can renew your mind and emotions.
  • We should internalize, externalize, and visualize the Word of God.

The main thing I (re)learned that weekend was the importance of consistently and intentionally being in the Word. It was healthy to be reminded of that and have a renewed understanding of the power of the Word in our lives.

“Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.” Psalm 119:5-6

When we live in a posture of prayer and study the Word consistently, we learn who we are and what we have in Christ. The Word is rooted in us and it becomes habitual to think in the ways of Christ.

As I’ve been in the Word this week, God has been reminding me that when we walk in His ways we are blessed (Psalm 119:2). He also promises that we will never fall (2 Peter 1:10), shall not be put to shame (Psalm 119:6), and are satisfied, preserved, upheld, and raised up (Psalm 145:14-20).

God knows what we need better than we do because He knows us better than we know ourselves. That’s why we can confidently trust Him to provide for us in His timing and His way.

There are so many unknowns in my life. I have so many questions. But, I serve a God that has my best interest in mind, therefore I don’t need all the answers. Our God can be trusted because He is ALWAYS faithful and true.

I hope these words that the Lord has given to me can encourage and empower you to live in a spirit of faith. I hope you continue (or start) to press into the spiritual discipline of studying the Word and listening for God’s voice in your life. It’s important. The reward of obedience and persistence is far greater than the reward of fulfilling your own desires on your own timing.

Trust Him.

-KT

#MNUSLR 1

Photo courtesy of Kara Stallings

#MNUSLR 2

Photo courtesy of Brady Braatz

Original version of cover photo courtesy of Amanda Doerhoff

 

Katie Linsey

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February 27, 2015

Worship According To KT

February 27, 2015 | By | 4 Comments

Worship. What a word. It’s tossed around so much… so what does it really mean anyway?

If you were to ask me in middle school/early high school what worship is, I would’ve told you, “It’s something I do on Sunday mornings at church.” In other words, I thought worship was something that could only happen when music was playing.

Romans 12:1-2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

As I realized my desperation for God in the last two years of high school, He began to bring me into a loving relationship with Him. It was then that He revealed to me what worship really is. It’s not about the songs we sing, whether we close our eyes or lift our hands… it’s about our hearts. It’s about the way we live our lives. Romans 12:1 says that presenting our bodies as a LIVING SACRIFICE is our SPIRITUAL WORSHIP.

Worshipping God = Living the life that He’s called us to. Worship happens when we walk outside and admire a beautiful sunrise. It happens when we look into our peers’ eyes and see beauty. It happens when we love the person that has wronged us. It happens when we study the Word of God. It happens when we cry out to Him in times of despair. It happens when we surrender our ways to the ways of Christ and literally be the hands and feet of Jesus in this broken, hurting world.

One of my favorite ways to worship God is through song. Times of corporate worship in chapel and at church are sacred, blessed times in my life. My two favorite things in this world are Jesus and music, so when I get to take a passion of mine (singing) and use it to give glory to God, it’s a wonderful thing. I’ve spent countless hours in front of a piano, looking up chords on Ultimate Guitar, and pouring my heart out to Jesus. In those moments, I forget where I am. I forget what I sound like. I forget everything that’s going on in my life and I give praise to the One who is worthy. Worship through song has played a huge part in my walk with Christ. Before I worship, I always pray that God will rid me of distractions and reveal Himself to me in a new way. He never disappoints, friends. It’s powerful stuff.

Since I talk about my love for music and singing often, I figured I’d record a bit of my most recent worship time in the Bell practice rooms (great place, by the way). I hope you’ll really listen to the lyrics of this song and let the words “Jesus, we love you” be the cry of your heart.

Love you all! Thanks for reading and constantly encouraging me.

-KT

A poster that was taped on the inside of the door where I was worshipping. Love it.

 

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.

Katie Linsey

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January 22, 2015

Community

January 22, 2015 | By | One Comment

Last summer, I was on summer staff at Youthfront Camp West, which is a camp in Edgerton for elementary and middle school aged students. Being on summer staff means being part of a community made up of the other summer staffers, but also the full time staff and weekly volunteers. Being a part of that community and also the community at MNU has taught me a lot. Specifically, it’s taught me the value of community and how to live life more intentionally and fully. There are many important things that I learned about community last semester that has helped me be a more contributing member of the community at MNU.

Community is caring.

A community laughs together, cries together, and cares about each other. I don’t personally know every student at MNU, but I care about everyone as if I did. I can honestly say I feel comfortable striking up a conversation with every person that I pass on campus or sit by in class… and that doesn’t happen everywhere. I even care about all of my professors and the faculty at MNU. Living in a community with a body of believers has given me a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. It’s really beautiful.

Community is not easy.

Don’t get me wrong… community is fun and great, but it’s not always an easy thing to be a part of. Community reminds me of family. You don’t get to choose your family, much like you don’t get to choose everyone who is a part of the same community as you, but you learn to love them simply because you do life with them. There are times when I get annoyed or frustrated with people. There are certain people that I don’t imagine myself being best friends with (which I’ve realized is completely fine, because who could handle over a thousand best friends anyway?). Although there are times when it’s hard, it is always worth it. I sincerely love every single person in the MNU community and I would go to great lengths to help anyone in any way I can. That’s what family does for each other… and at the end of the day, all I can do is thank God for the community He’s led me to be a part of.

Community is an opportunity for growth.

I have grown so much this summer and this past semester because of the communities I’ve been a part of. These experiences have taught me how to love people more boldly and intentionally. One thing I love about MNU is that we are encouraged to live our lives to bring glory to God, worshipping Him at all times. Being surrounded by people who are yearning to know God on a deeper level daily is inspiring. I will never forget the moments of corporate worship at Kingdom Come and the fun events that ASG hosts. All of those things we do together as a community are opportunities for growth in many ways.

Community is essential.

I firmly believe that everyone should experience the power of community at some point in their lives, whether it’s with co-workers, classmates, or even a group of friends that does life together. It can teach us valuable things about loving people and open our eyes to how to do that genuinely and intentionally.

There is no other community I would rather be a part of than MNU. It’s been absolutely incredible and I can’t wait for the years to come. I truly love it so much!

-KT

Katie Linsey

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January 15, 2015

Blessed Semester Ever

January 15, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

My church has been doing a series called “Blessed Year Ever” to kick off the New Year. During this series, my pastor has talked about how, as Christ followers, we can ensure that 2015 will be a year of blessing, and possibly the blessed year ever.

This series, along with the mindset of “starting over” that the New Year always brings, has gotten me thinking a lot about how I want 2015 to look for me personally. I learned a lot my first semester of college and went through lots of new experiences, both good and not so good, that have taught me a lot. These lessons have changed the way I think, act, and the way I want to live my life in general.

If I had to describe my first semester in college in a few words, I would describe it as “amazing and overwhelming.” It was amazing for obvious reasons: new friends, community, and an opportunity to grow as a Christ follower. It was overwhelming because of the lack of balance I experienced. I had a hard time balancing my time, people I wanted to get to know, schoolwork, and many other things. Having to find that balance (and realizing that I will never fully find it) honestly changed me for the better.

I want to dedicate this semester to growing deeper in my relationship with Jesus and building stronger connections within the community at MNU.

I want to seek God wholeheartedly. I want to become bolder in my faith, listening to the Lord and being intentional in everything I do. I want to delight in the presence of God. I want passion and zeal and fire. I want to be so recklessly confident in what God is doing in and through my life that I listen to Him without second thoughts. I want to feel Him all the time, inviting Him into every aspect of my life.

I want to better understand what it means to be a part of a community of believers. I want to dig deeper in my friendships that developed last semester. I want to talk about the hard stuff. I want to encourage and push people to become stronger in their relationship with Jesus. I want to make new friends. I want to make the most of every moment I have in this community because it’s beautiful and I won’t have it forever. I want to make memories that I will never forget. I want to laugh and cry, going through the joys and sorrows of life with some of my favorite people on this earth.

MNU is a special place. I am confident that God has me here for reasons that are unknown to me now. Growing deeper in my relationship with Him and also with the community is something that I’m very excited about. I couldn’t think of a better place to be.

Praise God that a place such as MNU exists.

Cheers to second semester, Pioneers!

-KT