Last night, October 4th, about fifty MNU students walked in the cold to the Harvest Prayer statue in the middle of campus and found a team of about fifteen people who were in way over their heads and praying their heart out for God’s will to be done because their human ability was just not enough.
Before I tell the story of last night and the incredible things God did, let me just say hello! My name is Renée DeVault, I am a freshmen Bible and Theology/Communications major at MidAmerica Nazarene University and I am having the time of my life here. I want to tell the story of October 4th as my “introduction” blog because it presents a model for what I hope my life on campus stays like.
Jordan Warren and a group of our friends have been praying about this series of events for about eight months but had only been planning this particular event for a few weeks, ever since meeting with a group of students who all shared a vision for revival on campus. Jordan did most of the planning, he reserved the space and the equipment, recruited the worship team, and recruited me to coordinate the prayer side of this “worship and prayer” event. When he said that he wanted to pull everything together in only a few weeks we were up for the challenge but I admit I was highly skeptical that it would all come together, further proof of why I should not be in charge 😉
But sure enough, posters were made, people recruited, equipment rented, songs practiced, and I found myself walking from my dorm to the campus mall with my prayer team, all bundled up for a cold night and scared out of my mind. We had about fifteen people setting up when I arrived a little after 5:00. I gave a disjointed pep talk to my prayer team, trying to fit four years of tips I’ve gathered from prayer ministry into a four minute crash course before rushing to help the worship team set up.
I am technology ignorant and physically uncoordinated so I generally helped with tasks like “hold this metal bar up”, “hold my phone for me”, “fill this bag with rocks”, and “You should take a picture of this.” I am constantly amazed by the technical “know-how” of my friends, watching them run wires and set up sound systems, it was definitely a very humbling experience.
At 6:00 when the team was scheduled to be practicing, the equipment wasn’t fully set up, the sound wasn’t working, the projector wasn’t working, and we were beginning to feel rain drops. Around 6:30 Jordan called us all together and asked me to pray. The fifteen of us stood in a circle, arms around each other and asked God to show up despite our human limitations, despite the sound not working, with no lyrics on the screen and possible rain. I was struck with the realization that if anything happened that night, it was going to be because of God, not because of anything on our part.
After we all prayed together, Jordan sent me to continue to pray while the rest of the team prepared for an acoustic worship set and the sound team desperately tried to turn on the sound. I began to walk around the area of our event and pray, just calling for God to come and praying for the people who were going to be coming. Fifteen minutes before seven, we found a button that hadn’t been pressed and suddenly the sound was working. There was barely enough time to do a sound check and absolutely no time to rehearse before about fifty students showed up ready to worship.
What these students got was a worship team that had never played together, a prayer team which had never prayed together, a sound system which hadn’t been fully tested, a screen which started working moments before the event, what seemed like the coldest night we’ve had in Olathe so far this year, and an encounter with the living God. It was incredible. That’s almost all I can say about it.
I saw people in tears who I had hardly ever seen show emotion. People I prayed for opened up about pain in their lives, doubts about God, anxiety about life, and generally just stuff they were struggling with. By the end of the night people were huddled in groups of two to five people praying for each other, listening for the voice of God with each other, and putting aside their worries as they discovered the joy that comes with corporate prayer and worship.
While packing up the event we shared stories about what God had done. I thought I had seen a lot but each member of our clean up crew had just as many stories as I did. It was late at night by the time we were done packing up and talking, but it felt like only a few minutes.
Some people may say it’s a small start. Fifty students, two hours of worship, no big deal compared to the huge churches and worship teams which draw thousands into auditoriums and stadiums, but numbers weren’t what we were going for. In the culture of a private Christian school, we wanted to have an event that wasn’t on the original calendar. Worship has become so normal for us that we wanted to move it to a different setting, know that we weren’t going to get spiritual formation credits, and seek God for the sake of God, not for the sake of routine or requirement. This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with the school scheduled events, we just reached a place where we wanted more of God than the schedule of events allowed for and we had a hunch that other students felt the same way.
So long story short we planned, we failed, but God still showed up. I can deal with that pattern. So we’re going to keep planning events because we want to be proactive in making our faith our own, not depending on what the school or ASG or Res-Life plans. We’re hoping that these events inspire people to plan their own and realize that there’s no pressure in having to perfectly plan something in order to develop their relationship with God and with fellow believers.
For our next “Night of Prayer and Worship” we’re planning on partnering with churches in the area to expand the ministry beyond MNU. For me, that’s the whole spirit of this school. We’re learning how to listen to and serve God here so that we can bring it out from here. Stay tuned, I’m hoping for many more adventures to come.
If you don’t feel like you have time for yourself, others, or even everyone’s favorite friend Netflix; relax friend, you are not alone. There is a gravitational pull drawing us in all sorts of directions. From waking up for classes to then trying to squeeze lunch in between back to back classes. I know you’re probably wondering if it gets better. I think the busyness teaches us that we must either manage our time or our time will manage us. My advice would be to understand that sometimes priorities must change. Sometimes you have to buckle down and read those thirty pages, but other times you have to go on that walk to clear your mind.
2. When freshman 15 hits you hard
No this is not a myth unlike Santa clause ( spoiler alert), the Easter bunny ( spoiler alert the sequel), and bacon Friday goes on untill 10:30 (now I’m just saving you the embarrassment). Freshman 15 is real and it’s here. For those who are hearing of this terminology for the first time; I guess it would be worth my while to explain. Freshman 15 is the belief (that I’m living proof of) that one gains up to 15 pounds during their first year of college. Why? There’s not really one answer to that, you could just be eating because campus center food is on fleek ( delicious), or you could be stress eating, or maybe you eat every time you leave the cashier’s office. Now that you know of this epidemic, eat healthier!
3. When you have to use change to buy some mcdonald’s
It’s 10:30 at night you’re just now leaving the library after hours of studying your brain into a deep headache (yes it is possible). You decide you deserve a treat for your hard work so you drive down to your local Mcdonald’s. ” That’ll be a dollar nine.” The cashier says. So you hand her a quater, two dimes, six nickles and thirty- four pennies. If this hasn’t happen to you yet; don’t worry it’s a coming!
4. When you have to ask someone to sign you into class
This is for the times you know you’re cutting it close with attendance and you won’t make it in. The perks of being in a lecture class of about sixity students is you can find a homie ( a friend) who would be willing to sign you in if you can’t make it.
5. When you have to guard your laundry
Jonathan Green waiting for his load.
When it comes to laundry it’s a dog-eat-dog world. If you leave your clothes and don’t look after it, few things might happen: Either your soaked clothes will be thrown out of the washer, your half dry clothes will be on the ground or you’ll be missing your favorite socks and sometimes underwear (this one I’m still in the process of understanding.) So one thing you must learn how to build is a “I don’t play games when it comes to my laundry” face or my friend college will be a very long socks-less experience.
6. When you have to wake yourself up for class
Our biggest enemy in this college warfare for our degree is our bed. Oh bed how evil are you! You welcome us in after a long day of classes, work, and running around. You are warm or cool whenever we need you to be. But you are so evil when we try to get up for classes you trap us in the warmth of you and the sheets! So we find oursleves creating more than one alarm to get us out of your trap. You! Will! Be! The! Death! Of! ME!
You have arrived, but you are not alone!
Too often I find mysef under the impression that I’m the only one struggling with getting use to this fast pace lifestyle. I think we all feel that way at one point or another, but you’re not alone. Maybe your struggle didn’t make the top six but it’s real and hard. So this is for you my friend, if you’re struggling with adjusting to any of these college lifestyles just know it get’s better, and you are not in this alone.
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome! My name is Hailey and I’m honored to be one of the freshman bloggers at MNU this year. My first video is just a little about me, what I will be posting, and what to expect. Please enjoy
Hey friends! I’m excited to say that I’m blogging for MNU again this year. Last year was a blast and I’m so thankful to be able to do this for another year.
With that being said, in case you didn’t tune in to MNU blogs last year, I’m going to re-introduce myself… here’s 5 things you should probably know about me.
1. I’m building a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I could’ve said “I love Jesus,” and that would’ve been accurate, but that doesn’t say much about my faith journey. I say that I’m building a relationship because that’s exactly what I’m doing. The past few summers and my freshman year at MNU were times when I had to examine my faith and figure out exactly what it is that I believe. I started to question many of my long-held beliefs and practices, so to say I’m re-building my faith is more fully accurate. It’s a beautiful and painful process, but I am seeing Christ for who He is and learning to be loved by Him.
2. People are my greatest fascination.
I absolutely love people. I used to think I was an extrovert because of my need to be around people, but I’ve realized that I just simply want to get to know the people that inspire and intrigue me. Human connection is my favorite thing in this world. I love running into people that I feel drawn to and then building a relationship with them. That being said, I don’t like shallow relationships. I prefer deep, authentic, vulnerable, real friendships. The kind that we are made for.
3. I live for moments.
Concerts. Road trips. Adventures. Coffee dates. I would much rather spend my money on experiences and memories rather than clothes or shoes. During the first semester of my freshman year at MNU, I decided that I wanted to go to Colorado, so I packed up my stuff and drove to Colorado Springs by myself. I’m all about seeing new things and falling in love with places and being spontaneous.
4. Music and art are my passions.
I started singing as soon as I could talk. I started playing piano when I was in middle school. I started drawing and painting in high school. I’ve always found that music and art connect me to myself, others, and the Lord. I find the most joy when I can use my hobbies and talents to bless others and bring joy.
5. I still have a lot to learn.
There is so much I don’t know. About myself. About my faith. About what I want in life. But that’s okay, because I’m learning. I’m expectant that my sophomore year of college will consist of lots of learning… not only in my classes, but also in my every day life. I have a solid group of friends that I’m learning alongside, and together we’re figuring it all out. (Or trying to, at least.) It’s exciting to question and wonder and hope and dream.
…so there you have it. I hope this post revealed more of who I am! Catch ya next week!
These are 8 memories that I hope to never forget. Freshman year was a blast, and although I’m glad it’s summer, I’m gonna miss the Stockton dorm life! Shoutout to all these amazing people who made fun memories with me.
1. White Light Event
Enjoying a classy evening with my friend, Dani Morgan.
This event was not only the one that broke the ice with me and my hall mates, but also where I officially met one of my best friends at MNU… Hannah Bostic. I saw her standing alone by the bleachers, went up to her and said “Let’s be friends,” and the rest is history.
Having fun at the awards party with Gideon’s Army!
I’m convinced that this is the best campus job out there. It also has the best boss. And this year’s team was the best, as well. I will never forget how Pete tried to pin McKenzie and I against each other. And Marisa’s endless, but hilarious, story-telling. And Kory and I’s games of hangman. And the constant, but hidden, note passing between Maggie, Kat, and I.
3. Colorado Trip #1
Eating at Qdoba in Colorado Springs with some church friends.
On my birthday weekend, I road tripped to Colorado Springs to visit one of my best friends, Melodie, and also another friend of mine from church. It was so fun to explore with them and enjoy the mountains together.
Some SCOUT students hanging out in my room.
SCOUT was the main reason why I fell in love with MNU, so getting to host a SCOUTer this year was a great experience. It was awesome to see my friends and the other SCOUTers hang out in my dorm that night! So much fun. Shoutout to Elda, who was the best SCOUTer I could’ve asked for.
5. Spiritual Life Retreat
Drawing and praying during evening prayer.
I learned so much at this MNU retreat and met a lot of cool people that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have met. The fellowship was outstanding. (To read what I learned while at this retreat, check out a previous blog of mine here.)
6. KC Hangs
Chillin’ with Super Mario in Art Alley.
There were countless hangs in KC this year, there’s no way I could pick just one. My personal favorite places to go this year were First Fridays, Thou Mayest, Art Alley, Power and Light, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum.
7. Colorado Trip #2
Stopped for a selfie with the mountains in the background! What an amazing team to work with.
I had the privilege to work alongside some amazing people on a missions trip at Golden Bell Camp in Divide, Colorado. We had a blast and made some awesome memories. (Check out Mariah’s blog posts about this trip here and here.)
8. Tour de Compadres
Waiting in line with these beautiful girls!
Easily one of the best concerts of my life. The music was perfect. The friends were perfect. The night altogether was perfect.
That’s a wrap, freshman year! Here’s to many more memories this summer and next year. You’ll all be hearing about them when I blog again next year! Until then… HAGS!
My favorite thing to do when I come home from a long day and have already crawled into bed is to check social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! So, my blog this week I decided to post things from my life in the past week to catch you guys up on what all is happening before I graduate in exactly ONE WEEK… what is life?!
This is Sarah, we both won awards from the business department. I won Outstanding Business Psychology major and she won High Score on Senior Comp as a Business Administration major. We have been friends all four years!
I LOVE BASEBALL!! This is one of my friends Santiago Romero he is a pitcher and plays second base. I love going to the MNU baseball games and go as often as I can.
Lizzie, Santi, and Nelson are three of my really good friends here at MNU. Santi and Nelson play baseball and Lizzie plays soccer. We call ourselves Framily. This is after the boys won (Santi as pitcher and Nelson as first base) playing Benedictine.
These girls have been my friends since freshman year. The two on the right have been roommates, two on the left have been roommates and marissa and me in the middle have been roommates for our freshman and sophomore year. I love these girls!
This is Dr. Spittal, he is the President for MNU. He came to a banquet I put on for ASG called Legacy of Leadership.
HAHAHAHA, this is Duby, or Jon but I always call him Duby. He is on ASG with me and has been a really good friend of my this whole year. I would consider him one of my close friends. This was also taken at Legacy of Leadership.
This is on one of my best friends Hannah on the left and our friend Lauryn on the right. They go to Pittsburg state and I got to see them this past weekend. Whenever we are together it is always a blast.
THESE GUYS HAVE BEEN MY LIFE THE PAST YEAR. ASG is officially over and I had such a fantastic year with these people. They have blessed me in so many ways and I wouldn’t change the past year for anything. Love you guys!
I hope you guys enjoyed clips of my week in rewind. I am graduating in a week and it is just absolutely crazy for me to think about. I enjoyed blogging this year and glad I could share some aspects of my life from my senior year at MNU.
The school year is coming to an end– so naturally I get all sentimental. I am so thankful for all that my college experience at MNU has offered me. Amazing professors, a high quality education, plenty of memories, etc. I think by far the best thing the LORD and MNU has blessed me with this year are my roommates.
If you would have asked me back in high school how I would feel living with five girls I probably would have grimaced at the thought. However, I have never been surprised by such a big and amazing blessing.
Let me tell you about them:
Sarah & Anna (the twinsies) are seriously funny and seriously sweet. Anna (middle) is sassy and sweet– the perfect combination! The looks and sarcastic comments make me laugh way too hard! And then she’ll turn it right back around and be just too sweet! She always can get a laugh out of any of us! I can picture her head tilt right about now… Sarah (right) is nicknamed “mama Sarah” because she is naturally so nurturing and gentle. Every group needs a nurturer! She is always checking in to see that all of us are okay. These girls are such a blessing, very distinct from the rest of the world. They always have a smile on their face– day-brighteners!
Rachel is one of the kindest lady I have ever met. Always quick to listen, and probably wouldn’t hurt a fly. I have never seen her angry. What a gift she is to an angry and impatient world! It’s almost embarrassing to complain to her because she hardly ever complains! She challenges you to be better simply by her actions.
Mckenna is bold and adventurous. She never fails to make just a little more exciting. If any of us need something planned, she is the one to do it! Kenna knows how to get things done! She is there when we need to cry watching Grey’s Anatomy or eat a hot pocket, there to quickly come to any of our defense, she is always on our side.
Randi is my partner in crime, a leader,a loyal friend, and a world-changer. We first met at the beginning of freshman year– we’ve been through it all. Laughs until we cry, and cries until we laugh. She instantly knows when I am upset, and knows when to give space and when to be there. She doesn’t follow the crowd, but is in-tune and patient to hear what God has for her. She is a blessing to us all. This girl is going to do big things.
I have so many other blessings as friends–
My childhood best friend (who came to MNU with me) Annie, makes me laugh hard. Annie and I will never fail to be goofy together. All that, yet we can still have long controversial theological and political conversations without any anger or insults added (rare I know). She is truly a blessing, a kind and sweet soul.
So many others- my siblings, peoples from my church, and from high school, all my guy friends (shout out!).
I guess I say all this just to say, your friends are an important part of who you are (especially if you live with them, hint the emphasis on my roommates). It is important to surround yourself with people who are there to support and build you up, to challenge and to help you grow. Also it is important to share your gratitude. Nothing wrong with a little praise on the people who mean so much!
I challenge you to post about your friends that have become so meaningful! Share your gratitude with others and the Lord.
Maybe I just get sentimental knowing we only have one more year altogether. Who knows.
So currently I am taking a Fundamentals of Counseling course for my major. It is very interesting to learn about the different theories on how to help people. People of all different types, with all different challenges, that need help getting through the day to day.
One type we have been talking about is called positive psychology. Now this is definitely not my favorite theory out there, I think sometimes we have to go deeper into some of the issues, but the basics of thankfulness and appreciation can make major improvements in daily life. This theory focuses on the “positives,” and being thankful.
My professor (Amy Cain wooh!) even related the concepts back to Scripture. How often does the Lord ask us to give praise, and to serve, and to rest. All component positive psychology uses in therapy. Some of the homework positive psychologist give clients I wanted to share. I decided to challenge myself to do this, and thought some of you out there could benefit as well!
1. Go through each day this week, and write down 5 good things that happened. For instance, discuss accomplishments, something that was fun, a time you felt proud, a time you helped someone else, etc.
2. Tell someone this week that you are thankful for them. Say it and write it.
3. Go for a walk (because it is so nice and beautiful out!) and be appreciative of your surroundings. (You can read some of my old blog posts about finding joy in the ordinary, a scriptural idea used in a secular psychology theory)
The more objective psychology student in me wants to say that there is not enough research and this approach does not necessarily go down into the root of the problem. There are definitely those cases where you may need to go deeper than just “feeling good” and being positive. But I think these ideas are scriptural, to show praise and to be thankful. So maybe try it out
Really sad I did not team up with KT this week, fellow blogger, for my blog post. If you haven’t seen our blog from last week you definitely need to check it out, http://www.mnu.edu/mnublogs/senior-segment/. BUT, I do have a lot to say this week as I am gearing up to leave this school in 32 short days… 32 PEOPLE. Is this even real?
I have recently come into contact with a few things going through my mind that have starting hitting the surface in my life. Leaving school I have a great job set up as an Executive Team Leader at Target on the management track, I hope to be on Forbes 100 most powerful women in the World some day. I have been thinking a lot about what this new job will look like for me and what store I will be placed in to start off after my 5 weeks of training. And it occurred to me, it’s not in my control. Target was wanting to send me a little far outside my comfort zone about an hour and a half way and I found myself stuck with this decision of what should I answer. I wish it were as easy as letting someone make my decisions for me. I was worried and stressing over what I tell them, because if I told them yes I would have to immediately live in a state and a city I was unfamiliar with, on my own, paying rent for a apartment right out of college. I think sometimes we are tested on how faithful we will be when tough questions are thrown our way that all affect our future. This answer was clear and it should have been the moment it was presented to me, but I think sometimes we question things because we are challenging ourselves. So many people are afraid of the what ifs and not enough interested in how this will help me grow. We as Christians are challenged daily with the question of what if, but it is what we do with our what ifs that define who we are.
If you are wondering what I told Target, I told them I did not think it was best for me to be so far away from home right now. I also think many college graduates think they need to be on their own and make their own decisions right off the bat coming out of college without their parents help. I think without my parents I would drown. They really do know what is best even if it feels like they are not on your side sometimes. I am thankful for parents who put my best interest in front of their own and are willing to give me a reality check sometimes when I need it.
I am excited to start my new journey in 32 days… 32 PEOPLE! As my time is closing here at MNU, every day I try to remember something great I received from going to this school. It is my own version of 30 days of thanks for MNU being shown to me and shaping me. This was one of my thanks I give to MNU for allowing me to know that it is okay to sometimes question and challenge our own thought process and decisions making, if we didn’t we wouldn’t grow into the people we were meant to be.