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Joey Alligier

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March 27, 2014

“..Let’s Pack Up and Move to California..”

March 27, 2014 | By | No Comments

Life is full of decisions to be made. 


As you sit at the mind numbing computer screen you may be facing the dilemma of finishing your homework…or possibly finishing that episode of Prison Break. More seriously you may be deciding between colleges, jobs, living situations, etc.

How do we often find the answers to these pivotal points? Perhaps a pro/con list, ask friends, of course pray, overall we assess the situation and weigh the options. Which one is more beneficial to me?

While of course weighing options and evaluating consequences is necessary, sometimes you just need to do something. I tend to think we sit on the sidelines for so long awaiting our names to be called so we can rip off those sweet, throwback, button-up pants. Yet, some go their whole lives waiting for confirmation on a decision; in that time opportunity is being missed out on. Life is being missed out on.

During Spring Break last week I got to hang out with this friend. Now this friend has been through quite a bit; things of his own decision and others not so much. However, through these trials and valleys he is staring into the eyes of God. As he is staring he is impacting so many people with his passion and perseverance. He knows God will provide for him. He isn’t a Biblical Scholar, he hasn’t been to school for this at all, he is hardly around people who challenge him with this.

When I saw change in his life, I sought him out. So, over some FroYo he told me a story I yearn to somewhat duplicate and/or never forget. Like Hawk Nelson, he packed up and moved  to California… yet, he had no friends out there. He had no idea. This was a leap of faith.

Hawk Nelson

Throughout this story he exemplified what it meant to trust Jesus on a level more severe than the lackadaisical, hesitant, and questioning approach most American Christians take. Long story short; he left for change and then decided to return changed.

The moral of this story and what should be the moral of all of our stories is that we WILL NOT have it all figured out at any point. We will question, doubt, and think “What if…” Yet, somehow that is where life produces the most beautiful pictures. That can be seen in a sunset  on your way through Arizona when God’s face isn’t any clearer or it can be revealed in the loving acts of a stranger you felt somewhat “pulled towards.” Just take the trip, just ask her out, just ask that person for help.

Limit your pride, expose your vulnerability. 

I leave you with this.

It’s okay to play, pro/con, and think about things.
It’s not okay to worry, overanalyze, and miss out on this big world.
Take a risk.
Challenge yourself.
Jump.

Take the Leap

Keep on and keep God,
Joey

 

 

Joey Alligier

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January 16, 2014

Grounded

January 16, 2014 | By | 5 Comments

This break was full of adventures!

Texas, a pretty girl, and an intense Jesus filled retreat; just to name the highlights.
One of the most consistent adventures I embarked on was to a local coffee shop that warms my soul.
Mead’s Corner.
Meads_Front_Door-250x250Click on this ^^^^
This place is the epitome of serenity.
It offers a peace that just has the Holy Spirit as the composition of the atmosphere.
Alongside the fair trade coffee they have gelato, beautiful art/photography, an amazing staged area used for artists, and a quality view into the city.This place is my inspiration, my hangout, and *spoiler, my number one date spot.
To me, it’s more than a place with fulfilling aromas, it’s passion.
I want to open a coffee shop.
It will be called Grounded: It’s more than just beans
coffee

It’s a place to feel grounded when the world feels like it keeps knocking you down.
It’s a place where your faith can be explored no matter the record you hold.
It’s a place where the heart is addressed by the compassion it is built on.
It’s a place we all need at times.

dogood

I have had this idea for about two years.
In high school I actually developed a detailed, preliminary plan that would kick start the process.
Other facets that have been added are a meeting space for businesses, a restaurant portion, and a fair trade, human trafficking, addressing shop.

6eac2061eb70af203ad5ed6663054273

I want this.
Not for me, for others, for opportunity.
Dreams come and dreams can go. Or they can give you purpose and passion
I take this time to say, don’t give up on your dreams or aspirations.
Don’t give up.
If it’s to come to MidAmerica, make it happen
If it’s to walk on the moon, take the leaps necessary
If it’s to open a coffee shop, call me

tomsbetterbreathtaking

Keep on and keep God,
Joey

Heather Engle

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November 25, 2013

I’ve been learning lately…

November 25, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello Blog world. :]

This week’s blog is going to be a little different from what I usually do. God has definitely taught me some stuff that I would like to share with you guys.

Something pretty exciting happened to me this weekend! It may not seem like a huge deal to some, but I had the chance to lead worship on Sunday morning for a church in Basehor, Kansas! This was actually the first time I have ever gotten to decide who was on the team, select the songs, and lead each of the songs that we played. Not that leading worship at this church was about me and my experience AT ALL, but it was overall just a wonderful opportunity!

Village Community Church was where we went to lead worship. I took a team of people from MNU that were so great to sacrifice their time to lead worship with me. I know I am definitely not the best worship leader in the world, but God has been so very generous in giving me many opportunities to stretch the talents and gifts He has given me. There is still so much to learn, but if there was one thing I have learned since I’ve been here at MNU, it’s that It is SO not about me.

 Even if I try my hardest to be the best at whatever it may be, I know it won’t be perfect. It may be close, or even way far off. I am only human, but God is ALL powerful, ALL knowing, and ALL merciful.

And I am SO thankful for that! He knows exactly what He is doing. To think that He would use someone like me to lead people into the presence of God is a miracle in itself. And when I said He knows exactly what He is doing, I really mean it. He knew that I was meant to come to MNU.

I don’t know how else I would have been able to experience the things that I am right now if it wasn’t for this college. I am beyond blessed and I can’t even describe to you how mind blown I have been by the chances I’ve had to be able to do what God has called me to do. It is truly insane to think about. God also knows exactly what I’m going through right this second. And even in my brokenness, or whatever I may be going through, despite the challenges that can come in this life, He can still use me. He is still good.

His love is unconditional. It does not depend solely on my circumstances. I really hope you take this in personally for yourself too, because He knows EXACTLY what is going on in your life, right this second, and He has walked through everything with you. Every single thing that you have been through, He has been there. :] How awesome is that?!

So this is what’s been laid on my heart this weekend, and I wanted to share this with you guys because I think it really captures what MNU is all about. This school has blessed my life tremendously in a way that I will never forget.

Rest in His truth today.

I promise you won’t regret it. :]

“It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For scripture says to Pharaoh: I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” –Romans 9:16, 17

-Heather Rose :]

Heather Engle

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November 3, 2013

Fall Retreat 2013

November 3, 2013 | By | No Comments

So this weekend I was blessed with the wonderful opportunity to go to Quapaw, Oklahoma to help lead worship for a fall retreat that was taking place for Central Church of the Nazarene and Mission Church! I got a chance to meet SO so many wonderful people, worship Jesus with them, have fellowship and laugh a TON. I was also able to go on a Zip-line, which was terrifying, but SO worth it at the same time! It was really an amazing weekend. I went with a worship team that was put together of 6 of us Mid-America Students and we lead worship throughout the whole weekend for the kids that were there.

If you don’t know me very well, I have a HUGE passion for worship. (Side story) When I first became a believer, worship was one of the things that really drew me closer into knowing the main attributes of God. I believe that worship brings us into a time with God that can be transforming for us in our lives and it also expresses to us who God is. I believe God uses worship in such a way of reminding us how loving, gracious, merciful, powerful, and mighty He really is! Not that other things can’t show us that as well, but I believe that God has placed a passion for music in my heart that really accentuates who God is personally to me. It has been such an amazing journey to come to this point, and I have definitely grown SO much through it all (and I am definitely still growing!)

I am just so thankful for Gods faithfulness in my life.

His unconditional love that has transformed me in every way possible.

And his grace that He has given to me every single day.

So here is a view of what all took place this weekend! Enjoy! :]

2013-11-01 18.09.28

I had to put this picture in here because I just really love clouds and sunsets. You guys know that already. :] I took this picture on the way to the camp! It was the sunset as we were driving there! I really think this is also a way that Gods glory, his beauty, and creativeness is displayed.

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This is a view of where the messages and worship took place! We also brought basketballs and other bouncy balls that the kids could play with!

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This is after we got all set up and were about to practice for one of the worship sets!

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 2013-11-02 11.20.34

Guys, this place was absolutely beautiful, and it was especially beautiful because of this time of year! I LOVE FALL!

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Its kind of hard to see us, but this is my friend Erin and I!  Erin is an intern at Central Church of the Nazarene and was helping run this camp! We got to go on the Zip-line together! It was such an amazing experience. The Zip-line was pretty high up there, but the view was absolutely breathtaking! We had those harnesses that strapped on to you, and you had to take a rope up with you (which was called your baby) and that rope attaches to the zip line so you can just hang from it as you glide down the line! It was also a freezing cold day, so by the time we were done, our hands and feet felt like they were going to fall off!

But overall, it was more than worth it! :]

2013-11-02 18.02.34

This is Sarah and I! She has definitely been a huge blessing in my life and is teaching me every day how to be a wonderful leader and messenger of the truth that is Jesus Christ. She lead the worship team this weekend and I feel so incredibly blessed to know her!

Well I hope you enjoyed taking a look at what has been taking place in my life! I had a blast this weekend being with some wonderful people and resting in Gods presence. :]

Love,

-Heather Rose :]

Mario Flores

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October 25, 2013

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

October 25, 2013 | By |

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Anyone else think this is shweeet!?

Anyone else think this is shweeet!?

And just a taste of winter with this frozen leaf!

And just a taste of winter with this frozen leaf!

 

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

 

Onto to Randy Cloud:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

IMG_0067

Here’s him not yet ready for a picture.

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

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

Joey Alligier

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September 12, 2013

The End is Where We Begin

September 12, 2013 | By | No Comments

Everyone….

It’s the moment you have all been waiting for..

I would go as far to say the most anticipated event within the last 3 minutes!

No, it’s not any other scandalous happening with Miley Cyrus, thankfully.

However, the window into my life is open once again!

Well, the last time we talked I was about to embark on what I would later learn to be the BEST summer of my life. It was one, if not the greatest, learning and growing experience I have been apart of! I traveled on behalf of MNU as a camp counselor all over the Midwest. 10 strangers, one van, one team, numerous of preconceived ideas, purposeful prayer, and a multitude of personalities all went into the oven of life to bake together! The end result; best friends, numerous incidences of God working, still 10 people shoved in a van, inside jokes #fuhdayz and memories enough for a lifetime or so.

This is where we started….

WWS

And we ended up here…

SergioIt may not look like much a difference, after all what can 3 months really do?

However, a small animal did make its way onto my face :)

The contrast between the pictures is largely symbolic of our relation to each other and vulnerability that we developed as a group. Needless to say, the Lord went before us, with us, and transformed lives from the inside out (mine for certain)!

Yet, with any great experience the question that soon follows is, “What now?”
Where do you take the memories, commitments, and lessons learned?

That’s yet another beautiful part of the community here at MidAmerica! I am surrounded by these same people and you can bet your bottom dollar (one of those sayings you refer to only from previous exposure and NOT because you know the true meaning) that memories and feelings flood back once I catch a glimpse of these beautiful faces around campus. We are all still here to support each other, even though we are all facing different and some pivotal points in our young adult lives; marriage, graduation, jobs, or even deciding what person to reach out to today. The Lord didn’t stay at those camps, He came back with us. If you ask most any MNU student or Faculty member they would contend that something is different this year and it’s not too hard to figure out WHO it is :)

This is the point where this new life begins. The one that Christ has filled me with by the power of His Holy Spirit. I am beginning the next step in the life God is designing for me as I go.

Anyway, that’s a short glimpse of my summer and where I am right now! If you want to know more, have any questions, or would like to suggest a post topic feel free to contact my by:

1)Comment
2)Facebook: Joey Alligier
or
3)Twitter: @praya_warriortwitter

“TUNE IN” NEXT WEEK TO “HEAR” ABOUT MY NEW CLASS SCHEDULE

Keep on and keep God!

Kelsey Cranford

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February 20, 2013

For the Ladies.

February 20, 2013 | By | No Comments

VickiOf all the places one would expect to find inspiration or an encouraging word, I believe the restroom would perhaps be the last place. However, this one cheesy 90′s poster in a ladies restroom on campus reminded me of a conversation that I had this past week with a woman that works with me at the Learning Center, which is a daycare program on campus. This vibrant, 67-year-old lady who has worked with children for years has spent most of her adult life as a pastor’s wife. This role of supporting her husband in ministry had often brought along pressures and expectations in which she felt pushed into being somebody she wasn’t. In telling her story and reflecting back on her life, she told me to always remember to be faithful to myself and to not allow myself to slip into living for man rather than the Lord. In so many ways, however cheesy it might be, this 90′s poster I discovered in the restroom said just that, so I thought it only best to pass on to you. Ladies, PREPARE TO BE INSPIRED.

 

I Have the Courage to Be Myself

I have the courage to embrace my strengths–Get excited about life–Enjoy giving and receiving love–Face and transform my fears–Ask for help and support when I need it–Spring free from the superwoman trap–Trust myself–Make my own decisions and choices–befriend myself–Complete unfinished business–Realize that I have emotional and practical rights–Communicate lovingly with understanding as my goal–Honor my own needs–Give myself credit for my accomplishments–Love the little girl within me–Overcome my addiction for approval–Feel all my feelings and act on them appropriately–Nurture others because I want to, not because I have to–Set limits and boundaries and stick to them–Say yes only when I really mean it–Have realistic expectations–Take risks and accept change–Grow through challenges–Be totally honest with myself–Correct erroneous beliefs and assumptions–Respect my vulnerabilities–Heal old and current wounds–Treat myself with respect and teach others to do the same–Plan for the future but live in the present–Value my intuition and wisdom–Develop healing, supportive relationships–Make forgiveness a priority–Accept myself just as I am now.

Kelsey Cranford

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December 5, 2012

A Weekend Away….The National Youth Workers Convention

December 5, 2012 | By | No Comments

A couple weekends ago I joined the ministry majors and Professor Mark Hays on a trip to Dallas, Texas, for the National Youth Workers Convention. We all got up at the crack of dawn, piled into the MNU van, and made our way to the conference where we would be joining thousands of other college students, youth pastors, and youth volunteers. In going I was hoping for some more insight and wisdom into what it looks like to be a pastor’s wife and what all to expect in being involved in full-time ministry. My fiance is a youth pastor and throughout the past year and a half I have become increasingly involved in his youth ministry, loving the relationships I have been able to establish with the junior and senior high gals. In preparation for the time ahead I want to make sure I am soaking up all I am able to now during this stage in my life so that I may be better equipped for ministry in the future.

Our retreat to Dallas was great in so many ways. I loved being able to simply explore the convention center on my own and go to whichever sessions peaked my interest. There was space for silence and solitude in our schedule, allowing for time to process and be still, and of course there were all kinds of speakers covering a wide range of topics. Some of my favorite speakers included Doug & Cathy Fields, Bob Goff, and Tony Campolo. I loved hearing Doug and Cathy’s take on how they have developed and maintained a healthy marriage in the midst of ministry–something that, in looking at those involved in full-time ministry, is seemingly quite rare. Bob Goff, the author of Love Does, was extremely inspirational, having experienced the most amazing adventures all across the globe. Tony Campolo, who is a speaker, author, pastor, social activist, and professor of sociology, was so intriguing to listen to. His phenomenal, world-reknown book, Red Letter Christians, simply focuses on taking seriously the counter-cultural teachings of Jesus and, more specifically, embracing the lifestyle Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount. This man who speaks in countries all throughout the world is coming to MNU this spring and I am so unbelievably stoked to hear him speak again! When Campolo spoke at the conference, it was so neat seeing just how humble this man is in how he speaks of others and himself. His book is extremely challenging to believers and is very intentional in making us re-evaluate our lives and our hearts. However, at the same time, he was completely honest and transparent in that many of those who have studied under him, such as Shane Claiborne, have far outdone him in living the life that Jesus spoke of in the Scriptures. I love how self-aware he was in talking about his own life and how honest and genuine he was so share that with all of us. How quickly people want to follow someone who admits his own failure in following the call God has placed on his heart. It is then that we are able to believe, if only for a moment, that perhaps our imperfections and brokenness could actually be used for God’s glory.

After Campolo spoke and the masses surrounded him for questions, pictures, and signatures I noticed his wife sitting in a row to the side on her own, making small-talk with a couple people as they left. There is something so intriguing to me about leaders’ wives. I often wonder what it looks like to be in these ladies’ shoes, being married to and supporting a husband whom is responsible for leading countless people. So often these women fade into the background despite the prominent role they have in the life of their husband and thus in the people he’s leading. In seeing Campolo‘s wife I had to go talk to her and hear her story. In doing so, I got to sit with this lovely lady, Peggy, for 30 minutes before they had to take off for their flight, and got to hear her journey from accepting Christ in her young adult years all the way to now. It was so neat getting to hear her perspective on her and Tony’s life together in which she was extremely honest and transparent about. I am so thankful for having experienced this moment with her and getting to peek into her life story.

All in all, I loved the opportunity to join the ministry majors in going to this conference and am so thankful for all the insight gained through such amazing people. That’s all folks!

Kelsey Cranford

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October 3, 2012

The hands. The feet.

October 3, 2012 | By | One Comment

This morning we had the privilege of listening to Cris Zimmermann speak about his ministry in Frankfurt, Germany. This young pastor began sharing with us a book he has been reading as of late called God is Not a Christian written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In this book the Archbishop shares of a crucifix he found in a church in which Jesus had no arms or legs. The meaning behind it was that, as the church, we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. That, as his disciples, we are to be the answer to the world’s begging question, “Where is God?”

As he began to speak he commanded my respect. He spoke with no words of eloquence or brilliance. He wasn’t beaming with charisma in which everyone was drawn to him. Nor did he command attention because of his long list of credentials or accomplishments. Rather, he commanded my respect because of his simple perusal of making this man on a cross relevant to our current world.

It all began with a group of 12 college students in Frankfurt. Together with Zimmermann, they began to brainstorm ideas on how they could be the hands and feet of Jesus in their own city. A specific pub was brought to their attention where a consistent community of people gathered regularly, not just to have a drink, but also to simply be together. Zimmermann and the students began to integrate themselves into this community, and after collaborating with the owner, began raising money with them to build a well in Africa. The pub family included, they began reaching out to the homeless community in the area as well and started establishing relationships with them. From there, other pubs began to get involved and the influence of the once small group began to grow and grow, involving people of all kinds.

It’s easy to look at the task ahead and be intimidated. To allow the fear that so easily creeps in to keep us from even taking a step. We become so taken back by our responsibility to be truth to the world that we can’t even be truth to the few people surrounding us. The fathers of the faith, the very apostles who walked on the ground that Jesus did, had to start somewhere. At some point, they had to acknowledge that they didn’t have what it takes to be his heirs to the kingdom. Yet, with the breath of Christ within us, we are given the means to be the truth, the salt, the light, that is so very necessary to this world. There is no better time than now to begin to get ourselves out of the way so that this purpose can be fulfilled in our lives.  May we begin to allow Jesus take root in our daily interactions with people and may we find the courage to take the baby steps that are necessary for any sort of change to occur. As Dorothy Day puts it, “People say, ‘What is the sense of our small effort?’ They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There’s too much work to do.”