Sorry this is coming at you a day late, but I hope everyone is having a great weekend- it’s the last day of fall break for MNU students and I’ve had a great time.
School breaks or even weekends can be a great time to get to know some friends better- by having them come to your hometown or you going to theirs. It’s so fun to see all of the places in their hometown your friends talk about, meet their family and friends from back home, and get a home cooked (free and delicious) meal!
Having friends over to see my house when we need a break from the non-stop busyness of the campus is a great time to connect with them, but going out of town to someone else’s house is amazing, and that’s what I’ve been doing this weekend.
This weekend, my friends Rico, Taylor and I all packed up into Grace’s car and headed to Carthage, Missouri for their annual Maple Leaf Festival.
We got to have fun with her family, eat smoked ribs and chicken, stay up late and watch movies, and even go to a haunted house in Joplin, Missouri. The Maple Leaf events were exciting as well- we saw an almost three hour parade featuring some great marching bands, saw a band festival/competition, and got to do some great people watching.
We’re on our way back to campus today feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the semester, ready to see all of our other friends, and ready to talk to them about their fall breaks and ours.
I hope you have an amazing week, and I’ll see you this weekend!
I’m a firm believer that God uses His creation to speak to us and teach us. My favorite thing to do is go out in nature and spend time in His presence. My heart always expects Him to show up, and He always does.
A few weeks ago, God used the idea of metamorphosis to remind me that I have been transformed. When I gave myself to Christ, I gained a new identity.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV)
I was walking back from dinner one night with some friends and found a huge green caterpillar crossing the sidewalk. Long story short, it ended up in my dorm room inside a Starbucks cup. The next morning, I woke up to find it inside its cocoon.
That day in my Environmental Biology class, we spent the entire period catching and tagging Monarch butterflies. I couldn’t stop thinking about my caterpillar and how it was going to completely transform into a butterfly (or a moth) in a few weeks.
“How is that even possible? How does a caterpillar make itself a cocoon, live in it for weeks, and then come out with wings and fly away?”
There were so many questions running through my mind, and as I would stare at my caterpillar’s cocoon in my room, I couldn’t help but think that this is a metaphor for our lives.
The moment that I fully surrendered myself to Christ and decided I wasn’t going to live for myself anymore was the day that I was completely transformed. Sure, I looked the same on the outside, but not on the inside. The way I lived my life from then on was completely different… and still is.
My priorities changed. My friends changed. My schedule changed. My desires changed. My passions changed. Everything changed.
As I look at the cocoon in my room and then walk outside to see Monarchs flying around campus, I am filled with joy knowing that Christ has the power to transform us into new and beautiful creations. It doesn’t matter where you came from or where you are now. God has the power to transform anyone.
A lot of people think my fascination with nature is weird. I could watch bugs crawl around for hours. I love collecting leaves because I think they’re so cool. I enjoy laying down in the grass, not even caring about how many bug bites I’ll get. I’m not really scared of bees because I think they’re pretty. When I find something in nature that I’ve never seen before, I will most likely try to find out what it is… and it’ll bother me if I don’t. I think nature is an adventure.
I love nature so much because it’s the rawest form of God’s creation. I have come to know and understand Him more deeply by spending time in His work of art. He creates and cares for the smallest, seemingly insignificant aspects of this earth. I think that’s awe-inspiring.
My challenge to you this week is to set aside time to be in nature and let your mind wander. Talk to God and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Bring a journal and doodle or write about what you experience. Bring your Bible and read your favorite Bible verse. Enjoy the moment.
I hope you’ll set aside time to do this, and if you do, I want to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment sharing about your experience. I promise you won’t regret it!
My caterpillar crawling on my homework. He’s so cute!
My caterpillar’s home. (He made his cocoon before we could transfer him to an actual bug cage.)
Now if you know anything about me you will know that I love to give advice. I mean LOVE it. That is in fact what I am studying to be (I am majoring in psych because I want to be a counselor). I am really passionate about seeing people come into their own potential in what God wants to do in their lives.
So if you have read any of my blogs last year I did a few Advice Sessions so I thought why not? (shoulder shrug).
I wanted to give you a few things that have really helped me grow in my faith. Obviously there are reading your Bible, praying, going to church– the basics– but these are the things that have helped me grow beyond the mediocre and what I would advise any one of my friends. So here are a couple:
1. Taking time out of my day to sit and be quiet. I have so much noise in my life– talking and listening, classes and studying, working and interacting, music and my slight obsession with Grey’s Anatomy (don’t watch it if you want to be or continue to be a diligent student). Even when I am praying I am quick to talk and not listen and be quiet. I think we miss out on God sometimes because we are not quiet enough or slowed down enough to wait and listen.
2. Join a small group! Seriously they are great! I was in one my freshman year here at MNU and again this semester. They have helped me grow so much in the last couple years. From being able to being accountable and being consistent, to building community and fellowship–they are all important. ALSO MNU has several great ones! Gert involved in that community aspect of this school!
3. Surrounding myself with people who encourage me and bring positive and godly life! Don’t underestimate the power of some godly friends. Through any situation they are there and they are great.
4. Walk out in the gifts God has given you. I think so often I am quick to pass up on opportunities, or I think God won’t use me. Or I think I am only limited to a particular gift God has given– but then I put God in a box.. By praying and figuring out my gifts I have been given, and working on letting them develop by using them– I have grown so much more! Don’t just sit around asking God to fill you when He has already given you gifts and wants you to step out and use them to serve one another.
This is a piece of song I am working on (This is me trying to step out in the gifts God has given me) and it has to do with point of in not forgetting your first love.
5. Finally the lesson I am learning this year– if you do all these things: join small groups, surround yourself with good influences, walk out in service and gifts that challenge you and take you to the next level– but forget the very reason you will lose it. Don’t forget your first love
This is just some practical advice from my own experience that has helped me take my walk to the next level. Hope it helps you too!
In case you didn’t know, the MNU FB team beat Missouri Valley 21 to 17. We played at Arrowhead Stadium (YES WHERE THE CHIEFS PLAY!!). Missouri Valley was the #7 ranked team in the country. While we weren’t even ranked. Not a lot of people besides the MNU faithful (Shoutout!) gave us a chance to win that game. This game had everything, as every rivalry game should. One of the coolest things about the game happened before the game started, we were the home team so we got to stay in the Chief locker room, it was amazing being able to get an inside look on what NFL players experience every day.
This picture still doesn’t do the the Chief’s locker room justice. I mean…. You basically had to be there yourself.
After getting my wits together, thats when I went to go check out the field. Walking down the tunnel was amazing, you think it can’t get any better until you hit the field.
Yea I’m not going to lie, I went crazy with my snap chat today, but hey who wouldn’t right? But my snapchat story was like 400 seconds. Sorry but not sorry.
The hallowed field of arrowhead. There is so much history on this field that I can’t even try and explain it. I was so intimidated by it. I guess you could say I could feel the Chiefs’ mystique, from Len Dawson throwing TD passes to Otis Taylor, Derrick Thomas sacking Dave Kreig SEVEN times, and Jamal Charles running wild today. (You could tell I studied up on my Chiefs history before this game.)
Arrowhead Stadium, the loudest stadium in NFL and I got to play there.
Of course you know everybody on the team went crazy and took a lot of pictures.
Of course you know that I had to get a picture with my wideout family right. We played BIG today. So blessed to have met these and I’m glad to call these guys my brothers.
Finally I got that paparazzi mode out of me, it was time to focus on the task at hand. But I had to sneak one picture in.
I mean can you blame me
As we are getting ready for game and the team is lining up to hit the field. We were told the seniors were going to be introduced. That was so freaking amazing. To hear my name called and introduced, I mean I can’t even describe how I felt. I couldn’t even talk and was barely even able to function.
One of the greatest football moments of my life. A memory I will never be able to forget, not that I wanna forget something as cool as this.
The game is was amazing. The game was shown on ESPN U and ESPN 3 (Shoutout!). My mom recorded the game, so when I go home, I’m going to reliving that game all over again. The game had it all, great defense, hard hits, huge plays on offense, that moment in every close game when you need to dig deep inside yourself and leave it all out on the field, and our team did that. We took every punch that Missouri Valley hit us with, and then knocked them out with a few of our own.
Ladies and Gentleman, meet Ricky Miller, but everybody calls him Bo. He had a break out game with 6 receptions for a 109 yards. He made big plays every time we needed him, now we just gotta find a way to get him in the end zone.
Wesley Foryoh, I call him Wes, my roommate by the way. He also played big. He had 3 receptions for 75 yards and a TD. Week in and week out he always seems to be a big playmaker for us.
Here we have Earvin Simmons, but you can call Earv or Simmy. Here is a little man with a big and can break your ankles if you let him. He had 79 all purpose yards including a big reception on the game winning drive. He is like a swiss army knife, he just does it all.
The receivers step it up this week and made big plays all day. I couldn’t be more amazed at how we played. Top to bottom, we balled out. Of course you know it wasn’t all offense, our defense played their guts out, giving Missouri Valley fits and beating them down all day.
Surprise, surprise the X-factor played his heart out. Derek was second on the team in tackles with 10 tackles and a huge pass breakup that iced the game for us.
DeRahn Williams aka primetime was huge for us to. He had 7 tackles and a pick for us but at the end of the game, you would’ve thought he didn’t play because he was so clean.
Last but not least we have Matt Rashad aka Darkness. He had 5 tackles including a huge sack in the fourth quarter helping us seal the win.
When the game clock had the triple zeros on them, I just lost it, I couldn’t believe it. We won, and in one of the scariest, greatest, and most heart stopping ways possible. I couldn’t control my emotions, I just started crying all I could think of is my aunt and her struggle with cancer. How strong she is and how she fought her heart out and won. I will never forget his day for as long as I live. A once in a lifetime opportunity, and it was amazing.
We came out and shocked the world. We put the HAAC on notice on Saturday. We are not who people thought we were. #FeartheNeer
Every now and then you get to do something extraordinary. Today I, along with the rest of the MNU football team have the privileged to play in the first annual NAIA Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium. (YES! BABY, WHERE THE CHIEFS PLAY!!!) It’s also the first “Defeat all Cancer Game.” It was inspired by our offensive coordinator, Bruce Pielstick.
Coach Pielstick, lost his wife of 27 years to bladder cancer earlier this year. He was the one who came up with the idea to designate the upcoming game “Defeat All Cancer.”
This is a chance to not only play football, but it is a chance to affect people’s lives. There is an article on this game:MNU’s Arrowhead game declared ‘Defeat All Cancer’ game. Every player on the MNU football team who will be on the field today will be representing someone who has been affected or is still affected by cancer. We are going to be wearing colors the represent each cancer. Today I’m going to represent my aunt Taby Mutuku.
This my aunt Tabi, and one of her sons (everybody calls him Jo Jo). She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer earlier this year. Luckily they caught it early enough and she had the surgery to remove the cancer last month. It’s amazing to see how strong she is and no matter what happened during this ordeal, she remained faithful and she better care of me than I did of her and I wasn’t the one who had cancer. Her courage was so amazing and through the grace of God, she was able to be healed and now she’s fully steam ahead.
As you can see from the video above, this is so much more than a game. It our chance to change lives, to show people that they are not in this struggle alone. That there are people who are praying for them, people who have been in through their struggles and through us, their fight with cancer has reached a whole new level.
As for the game itself, it still hasn’t hit me that we get to play at Arrowhead Stadium yet.
The hallowed field of Arrowhead Stadium, there is so much history in this stadium from Super Bowl V and the star QB Len Dawson, the sack master Derrick Thomas, and to the Mr. Everything Jamal Charles. They all have added so much to this field, and today I get to make my little mark on this field as well.
Today we are going to the NFL player experience. We are technically the home team, so we get to dress up in the chiefs locker room. We get basically full access to the whole stadium. We go in through the players entrance, and the Seniors get introduced before the game. Also we are playing our rival Missouri Valley, They are the #7 team in the nation right now, and everyone is counting us out of this game. Hey, it’s a rivalry game and you never know what could happen in a rivalry game. We are going to shock the world today, all while changing people’s lives in the process. I still can’t believe all this happening but it’s going to be an amazing experience.
Last Saturday I had the honor and opportunity to run in the Jared Coones Memorial Pumpkin 5k Run/Walk. Going on its 16th year, this event honors the lives of Jared and Jayne Coones who died of cancer.
Got my shirt and race number. I’m ready for this thing.
MNU is a big sponsor of the event and they have a big tent and they paint people faces. It’s really a cool event. MNU also has a team that runs in the event.
Team MNU in all of its glory
I’m not going to lie the I underestimated the pace of the race but I still did a lot better than I thought. In high school I used to run track. I ran the 400 and 800 in high school. So I haven’t really ran “competitively” in about 5 years, I have a game to play later in the day and my head coach randomly shows up and 2 of his kids are also running in the race. Also I’ve never ran anything like a 5K before so this is all new and dangerous territory.
Not bad for a guy who has ran in five years. I finished 49 out of 1387 people who ran the 5K competitively, the 47th male of 761 males who competed, also 7th out of 21 in my age group of males 20 to 24.
In the end it was an amazing experience, to be able to do something for higher cause and honor the memories of two people in the process. To be honest the best part of the race was the end when everybody who was in the race were able to get massages after the race.
Shout out to the people at ProCare Chiropractic, Dr. Toby Scott came in the clutch for making sure, I was well taken care of and that I was ready for the game later on the in day. This man is a life saver.
The race was held at Black Bob elementary, its a couple of blocks from MNU. Right now the race is almost over and everyone is starting to gather in gym for the awards ceremony
At the end of all this I still had a game to play at 6 pm that day at Central Methodist University deep in the back woods of Missouri. Unfortunately we didn’t come out with the win but it was an amazing day. But trust me I’m probably not going to doing all this again. Next we have Missouri Valley at Arrowhead Stadium, its going to be a HUGE game, and man I can’t wait.
I feel like I have one homework assignment or project or paper or even test after another. It was definitely a crazy busy week.
Today I have a Business Communication project with three of my friends Clair Plummer, Caleb Mingus and Drake North. Our project was about bringing a Braum’s (a fast-food place) to Olathe. We had to have a 10-12 minutes speech but got to choose our own topics. My topic was about the human resource and hiring part of building a new restaurant. We totally rocked it and may have even let out a few laughs and yells when it was over.
Tomorrow I am going to Lansing Correctional Facility (a prison) for my Human Resource Management class. We are teaching a two-hour class to inmates that will be getting out within the next 3-6 months. I am really excited about his project. I have always had a passion for prison inmates and being involved in their lives. In my future I hope to be a Deputy Warden or work in the Re-entry program.
Last Thursday our volleyball team played Baker, one of our biggest rivals. It was for the number one spot in the HACA conference. ASG did a tailgate for this game, which was absolutely phenomenal, and we had such a great turn out. We did #thinkpink shirts because this month is Breast Cancer Awareness month. We also had chick-fil-a sandwiches (they didn’t invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich!!) and did a volleyball tournament with a change to win $120 worth of gift cards. Of course we crushed Baker with a 3-0 win. One of my best friends Becca is a senior setter for the team and I have always gone to all the home volleyball games. I do love my sporting events!
Becca is on the right, #7 on the court but #1 in my heart We have been close friends since freshman year and we have always had a strong bond. She is the type of friend who could totally rock out in the car with me without feeling embarrassed or even looking at each other. She is from Oklahoma and is a Biology major. ON the left is Stacy, she is a senior nursing major from Nebraska and is one of my suite mates! This is our second year living together and we usually always go on dinner dates together. It is friends like her that I am glad I chose MNU!
This past weekend was packed full as well too. I went to Central Methodist on Saturday to watch MNU Men’s soccer, MNU Women’s soccer and also football play. My RE Patti (shout out to the patster) for driving myself and one of my best friends Becca to the Central Methodist with her husband Lonnie. They are two of my favorite people here on campus and are always going to sporting events.
I LOVE going to sporting events at MNU, especially soccer. Four of my suitemates, one of them being my actual roommate, are soccer players and I have always loved going to watch them play since freshman year. Sometimes they call me the soccer groupie and even their coaches know me.. what can I say I just love being involved. Both the men’s team and the women’s team won on Saturday in their conference games. They were both tough games but they pulled through and came out on top. This is my roommate Ashlea who is a senior soccer player and also a nursing major! She is also engaged and we love to laugh at each other, with each other or with others!! We are always having fun together
This weekend I also found out that I got nominated for Homecoming Queen, how exciting!! I have been nominated every year and was really excited when I found out I was nominated for Homecoming Queen this year. One of my best friends who is on the men’s soccer team, Eddie Morales was nominated for Homecoming King and we actually get to walk together. Homecoming week is such an exciting and anticipated week for not only ASG and students but also for alumni of MNU. Since Homecoming is not for another two weeks I will be writing a blog on all the festivities that happen later on in the month.
That is Eddie! He is a great soccer player and has been leading his team in goals this year! He is a pretty cool guy and has been one of my closest friends since NSO freshman year (new student orientation)!
One of my highlights from the weekend:
Going to the NASCAR race with my dad and two of my suite mates! We had pitt passes so we got to go down and look in the garages, victory lane and at the cars before the race started!
As always feel free to comment below or leave any questions you may have and I would love to answer or chat with you!!
I can not even begin to describe my excitement this week has held for me! As a sports fan born and raised in Kansas City, the last several years have been rather disappointing. Between the Chiefs and the Royals, a few tears have been shed, several screams of frustration have escaped, and an every once and awhile throwing of an object, have been spread throughout my lifetime. The only news of glory from my KC sports teams were stories my dad, uncles, and grandpas liked to talk about.
And just within this last week, the Royals… THE Kansas City Royals, ended their 29 year drought of playoff appearances! And everyone reading this goes wild! I mean seriously this gets me emotional. I have literally been waiting my ENTIRE life (and some) years to see the Royals do ANYTHING.
So when I was reflecting on this week and what I was to write about, this was pretty much the only thing that came to mind. I mean people across MNU campus were tweeting, yelling, and cheering. Talk about some excitement!
Now to relate this post back to something practical (especially for those of you who aren’t sports fans) I wondered what it would be like if people would spend as much time and as much excitement on the Lord as they did about the Royals ending their drought. I mean people are spending hundreds of dollars on tickets, posting thousands of posts on social media, and cheering and yelling to wake everyone in their dorm up, staying up late watching the long extensive games, and carrying conversations with friends and strangers about last nights game.
Now none of this bad, if it was I am in trouble… BUT I think there is a point to be said there. It is so easy to get wrapped up in something (it may not be sports for you) but so many times we forget to get wrapped up in the very thing that brought us here to begin with. If we would just take the time to stay up and listen and sit in his glory, tithe a little of our money once a month, post on social media about all what God has done in your life instead of complaining, and having conversations with friends and strangers about the Lord, our world would look so different! Our ministry, our churches, our lives, and our relationships would look different!
Sometimes it just takes little steps… Maybe start spending 15 minutes of your day with the Lord and go on from there.
This doesn’t mean you can’t stay up late watching the games and tweeting your little hearts out about the Royals (believe me I still will be… you can catch it all @haleyraydo) but maybe next time you sit down to watch the Royals or whatever it may be you get excited about, remember the Lord and His goodness. And remember to take that relationship one step further than the I go to church on Sundays, pray before meals, and sit in a Christian beliefs class kind of level.
Last Thursday, my friends and I participated in the annual freshman photo scavenger hunt. It was a stressful, fun, long night of driving all over Olathe and crossing things off our list. Here’s a few pictures of the crazy things we had to do!
1. Take a picture with sunglasses on
2. Take a picture at a drive through window with an employee
3. Take a picture with the statues outside Chapala
4. Take a picture at a laundry mat
5. Take a picture in front of a fountain
6. Take a picture of someone hula hooping
7. Take a picture of everyone jumping in the air
8. Take a picture posing with mannequins in a store front window
9. Spell out a word with your body and take a picture of it
10. Take a picture with a person wearing K-State gear
11. Make a waist high tower with cans in a grocery store and take a picture with it
12. Take a picture on a bed at a furniture store
13. Take a picture in front of the Olathe City sign
14. Take a picture with someone wearing KU gear
15. Break up random couple holding hands and walk between them holding both their hands and take a picture with them
16. Take a picture of someone eating a sample at Silas and Maddy’s
17. Take a picture posing as statues in a store or at a park