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Katie Linsey

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February 9, 2016

Being Sick in College

February 9, 2016 | By | No Comments

This past week, I’ve been sick. The worst kind of sick I’ve been since being in college.

It’s lasted for 7 days and counting. It started out being a stomach bug and then turned into a terrible cough/cold. I have no clue what’s going on, but lemme tell ya, being sick away from home is not fun.

BUT, people at MNU are awesome and have helped in making it not as bad as it could be.

I had to miss class for a day, so when I e-mailed all my professors, they told me to rest up and get better. One of my professors even offered to get me anything I needed.

My RA is also great. She went out and grabbed ice cream for me because my throat was on fire. I love having friends that care about me enough to sacrifice their time and energy to take care of a sick friend.

MNU always advertises about how the professors here truly care about the students… and it’s so true. I’ve experienced that on multiple occasions. Even when you’re sick and can’t come to class, they understand and are still there to help you get better.

At MNU, it’s about more than academics. It’s about being a community that cares for each other. It’s been a blessing to have people in my life that randomly text me asking if I need anything.

Being sick is not fun, but I couldn’t imagine a better university to be sick at. :)

Pray that I get better, because I’m getting tired of my couch and Netflix can only entertain so much. ūüėČ

-KT

Lynsie Petersen

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February 4, 2016

MouseTrap: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

February 4, 2016 | By | No Comments

I promised a look behind the scenes of a show in the making, so here it is! :)

“The MouseTrap” by Agatha Christie opens on Feb 25th and runs through the 28th. Get your tickets now, before it sells out!

Mackenzie Theiler

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February 3, 2016

Surgery is Near

February 3, 2016 | By | No Comments

The start of my MNU Track and Field career, has taken a turn. What may, some days, feel like a set back, is actually a step forward in the right direction. It has been a while since, I have talked about track and the new team on campus. This last fall, I was hit with some, saddening news. The news was, that, I was going to need surgery on both my ankles; if I wanted to continue running, and be able to walk in the future.

Towards the end of last semester, I found out that my season had come to an end, before my  season had begun. I tried to do everything I could, not to go through with the surgery. I tried strengthening, rehab, continuing to run. Nothing was working and the pain continued to grow worse. So, I had to come to the realization that surgery was my only option, if I ever wanted to step back out on the track. As for this season, the first season, of having track and field back at MNU, I am sad that I will not be contributing, physically, to the success of our teams season. Instead, I will be contributing by, supporting, cheering, and rooting my fellow teammates on, at the finish line.

This season, I had set, extremely, high goals and expectations; but now, those goals and expectations are on hold. What I have to focus on, now is, the road to recovery and rehabilitation. It is going to be a long process but I have great doctors, physical therapists, and strength trainers. I am going to have a strong recovery and come back even stronger. Though, I have never had surgery, I am not that nervous, because I know, in the end, it will get rid of the pain and I will be able to be more successful on the track, than, I ever thought imaginable.

My surgery will be taking place tomorrow and I plan to keep you all posted on, how everything goes, and share with you, my journey back to preforming next season! Crossing my fingers, it all goes well!


 

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

Katie Linsey

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February 2, 2016

Ask The Trailblazer

February 2, 2016 | By | No Comments

Hey everyone! So, if you didn’t know, I’m video editor for The Trailblazer at MNU.

This semester, we’re trying something we’ve never done before. We’re launching a video series called “Ask The Trailblazer,” where students can submit anonymous questions regarding anything (yes, anything) about MNU. Then, The Trailblazer chooses questions to find the answers to.

The videographers find the right people to interview, and get the answers to the questions you’ve always wondered, or the questions you’re too worried about asking in public.

We’re hoping to launch our first video in the next week or so.

I’m really excited about this video series, so if you have any questions, ASK!

Here are a few examples of things people have already submitted:

-Why do students have to get the unlimited meal plan?

-How to REs decide when open dorm hours are/why did they choose those times and days?

-Did MNU get Google Fiber? Are we using it?

So… if you have a question to ask, here’s the link to the Google Form that you can submit it anonymously!

http://goo.gl/forms/bIkNsJFRvx

-KT

Katie Linsey

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January 27, 2016

The Truth About Community

January 27, 2016 | By | No Comments

Going to MNU has definitely taught me a lot about what it means to live in community.

Coming into my freshman year, I had a lot of unrealistic expectations about the community at MNU. For example, I expected to be best friends with everyone. I didn’t expect cliques, drama, or really any hardships at all.

I’ve now been going to MNU for 3 full semesters, and in that time I’ve learned some simple truths about community.

Truth #1: You won’t be best friends¬†with everyone

The community at MNU is unique because it’s giant. When I hear the word “community,” I think of a small group of people. But the community at MNU is made up of over 1,000 people.

When you’re living in a community of 1,000+ people, expecting to know everyone is unrealistic… and exhausting. I tried to do that my freshman year and it was brutal. It was great to walk into Campus Center and know I’d have someone to sit with all the time, but the relationships I formed couldn’t be deeper than surface level. You simply can’t have that many close friendships without going on at least 29 coffee dates every week.

I think of community as a big family. You’ve¬†got your “siblings,” or your closest friends, that you see all the time and tell everything to. Then you have your “cousins,”¬†who you love to talk to when you see them, but don’t keep up daily. And then there’s your “second cousins who live far away,” who you really don’t ever see, but if they ever needed anything, you’d be there simply because you’re family.

I would classify a majority of the students on this campus as my “second cousins who live far away.” I love them and would do anything for them, simply because we live in the same community, but I wouldn’t call them close friends. The cool thing about the community at MNU is that we can come together to worship, laugh, and cry together without being best friends. There’s a special connection you have with people when you share a community with them.

Truth #2: Community is made up of human beings

I have had drama at MNU. I have strained relationships on campus. There have been times when I’ve been frustrated with the community. But, I should’ve expected that, because anything made up of human beings is going to be imperfect. People don’t love the community at MNU because it’s perfect. They love it because it’s real. Because, at the end of the day, even with all the imperfections, it’s beautiful. Being a part of this community has taught me love, forgiveness, and grace on deeper levels than ever before.

Truth #3: You won’t love everything about it

I don’t love everything about MNU. I hope I don’t get fired for saying that. But in all honesty, if you’re planning on coming to MNU, chances are you won’t love everything either. I don’t know if there’s any community that you’ll love absolutely everything about. Sometimes I don’t feel like going to chapel. Sometimes I sit in my room while everyone else is at an ASG event. Sometimes I need to get away. And that’s okay.¬†I had the expectation coming to MNU that I would love every second of every day. That it would be rainbows and butterflies all the time. But I thank God that’s not the case. Living in community with imperfect people creates great opportunity for growth. And that’s exactly what I’ve done while I’ve been at MNU. I’ve grown so much.

If you’re thinking about coming to MNU, I hope that being honest and vulnerable with you has opened your eyes to what community is all about. I hope that this excites you about the possibility of attending a university with an authentic community.

-KT

Lynsie Petersen

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January 21, 2016

It’s Never Too Late For A Peace Treaty

January 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

I hate watching the news. It’s full of hatred and anger. I can’t tell you the last time I turned on Fox News and heard a story of peace and love.

Why is it that we live in a day and age where my Bluetooth speaker can tell me the weather report and my daily schedule, but I can’t feel safe walking out to my car after dark?

This week we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr Day and I sat through a passion filled chapel, but the whole time I was struggling with the concept of “peace”. Dr. King called for it and yet we haven’t gotten any closer in the last 43 years.

In Tuesday’s chapel, Michael Randle spoke about loving God with everything and loving our neighbors as ourselves. “We don’t need justice. We need to extend mercy to one another” -M. Randle

Michael Randle preaching about loving our neighbors.

Michael Randle preaching about loving our neighbors.

Randle spoke about showing mercy to all people, just like God does for us.

Randle spoke about showing mercy to all people, just like God does for us.

We live in a time where things can still be changed. Yes, I’m white, but that doesn’t matter. God calls us to love all people, no matter their race, religion, or walk of life!

I want to leave a legacy worth leaving, so maybe this is the first step. If we join together, we really can change the world. My parents always taught me to leave a place nicer than when I arrived, so why isn’t that applicable to the world we live in?

Mackenzie Theiler

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January 19, 2016

It Has Only Been the 1st Week of School

January 19, 2016 | By | No Comments

I love how, on the first day of fall semester, everyone is so excited to start school. Students arrive 3+ days early, setting up their dorm rooms, if they are living on campus. Then fall break comes and everyone is so happy the semester is over! Now, spring semester has began. Everyone is coming back as late as possible. Some students are even arriving on campus a few days after their classes have started. I find this, quite, hilarious.

It has only been the first week back, and I am counting down the days, till spring break. It has only been one week, and I am already bogged down with a ton of homework. I understand the difficulty of my major, but I would not change it for the world. The only thing that is stresses me out more than anything, is the cost to buy text books. The majority of students, only need a text book for that one semester. If they are taking science classes or math, generally, they only need it for 2 to 3 semesters, max. There are tons of sites that you can get books for cheep, and even, rent for very little cost. When I first started off going to college, I did not know anything about these websites. Being the first in my family to go to college, I was completely on my own. So I was this kid…

#collegebookcomic

I spent close to $1,000 just on text books for school. Do not be that kid. I have some sites listed below, that I have used, ¬†to get cheaper text books. Hopefully, this will help you through your semester, when the professor makes you get the text book, even if it is just for “one page.”

 

bigword.com
(This website shows how much your book costs & compares it to tons of prices and places you can receive your text for less than half the cost.)
chegg.com
(This website is also good if you have questions or need a tutor for one of your tougher classes.)
amazon.com
(This is my favorite website to get my textbooks. Also, if you have Amazon prime, and need your books the next day they are really fast at delivery.)

Renee DeVault

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January 18, 2016

The Awkward Dinosaur Tries New Things

January 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

It’s a new semester, a new year, with new classes, a new job, and a time to try new things and start new habits.

This week I have begun all sorts of new things.

First of all I began my new job as Managing Editor and News Editor of the Trailblazer. I have a new office on campus and brand new coworkers.

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I got to decorate my office which was awesome and it’s really nice to have a place of my own to get some work done during the day.

I’ve been loving my new classes but probably my favorite so far is Hebrew. I have been missing learning languages. In High School I took French and American Sign Language but neither were nearly as challenging as I predict Hebrew is going to be.

First of all, it reads right to left and the written version has no vowels. I’ve been kind of obsessive about learning the alphabet and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve had to do for a class in a while. It sounds crazy but I love languages and writing. Learning how to write in completely new characters has been awesome.

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It’s good to take on new challenges. Isn’t that what college is for? Learning new things and challenging ourselves in order to grow? Hard classes are some of my favorite things. Next to raindrops on roses of course.

Speaking of a challenge, I have been looking for new things to do with friends on campus. Just because we live in Olathe, Kansas and attend a smaller private school doesn’t mean we can’t have wild and crazy times.

So naturally we have taken to starting fires, setting up hammocks, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

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Fire is fun.

Contained and mostly safe fire is probably the best for our uses. It’s a really good winter activity, especially if one has a craving for marshmallows and allergy friendly hot dogs.

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Gabe hung a hammock in his suit in Uphaus. It is incredibly fun and added some much needed extra seating to the suit for watching movies, and Youtube, and Netflix, and really anything. It’s like camping…but with air conditioning and a bathroom with running water.

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Dungeons and Dragons is awesome. I very much enjoy it much more than I thought that I would. It reminds me of pretend games that I would play when I was a little kid, except for with dice…and five other nerds on the same quest.

Basically Alex wrote a game for us and helped us create characters and we all learned how to play. I’ve played twice now and have absolutely loved it so far. it’s something I never would have tried before but I very much enjoyed it.

Try new things, especially when it’s harmless fun like using fictional characters to explore magical elf scholar caves and fight skeletons.

Another new thing I’m trying this semester is being more intentional about date nights.

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There are lots of great places to go on cheapish dates around MNU. Quinn and I went to Black Dog Coffee house in Lenexa on Thursday. They have some awesome specialty latte’s and the atmosphere is just so cute. Quinn and I sat in the bakery next door.

I really want to make sure that in this semester I take care of things that are really important to me. One of those things is definitely Quinn. Setting aside a date night out of our weeks keeps our schedules from getting too busy to make time for each other.

This semester is going to be full of new challenges and new things to enjoy, but I want to always have time in my life for my friends, Quinn, my family, and God.

Oh…and messing with Jordan.

I want to always have time to mess with Jordan.

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Isaac Walker

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January 6, 2016

My New Year Resolutions

January 6, 2016 | By | One Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some more with less detail:

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

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

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

Chia pets are just cool.

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

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

Until next time.

Renee DeVault

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December 15, 2015

Is there life after finals?

December 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

Yes.

Let’s just clear that up.

Finals, for all the bad mojo we attribute them, do at least one really good thing. They help us to realize how much we have learned over the semester.

I just want to do a quick review of what I’ve learned this semester. I had to shorten it by quite a bit because life happened this semester and life is hard to summarize.

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Don’t be afraid to be busy.

I was incredibly busy this semester but looking back, I wouldn’t have changed any of it. I had incredible experiences in the Honors Program, on Trailblazer staff, being a track/cross country manager, being in the musical, blogging, being on improv team, and doing classes for two majors.

I loved it.

I learned not to be afraid of being busy. Being busy meant I got to meet an incredible amount of people on this campus and when I look back on the semester I know that I got a lot done.

Coach Wiens, the track/cross country coach, said to me this semester that God gave us our bodies and our minds so that we could use them. That really stuck with me.

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Don’t be afraid to have a little school spirit.

“We’re all in this together,” the elementary school girl who was secretly in love with High School Musical in side of me chants.

I love loving this school. I love investing in our community.

When we are proud of this place and show support it is showing support for not only our athletes but for everyone who works to make the school what we know it to be.

We show pride in our coffee shop workers, library staff, the people who make our food, people who make our campus beautiful, professors, student  and professional workers of all kinds who invest their lives in this school.

I have invested my life into this school and I love others who have invested their lives. So yes, I will be MNU’s super fan and actually enjoy every minute of it.

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Don’t be afraid to date an awesome, hilarious, fun-loving, supportive and generally incredible person.

If you find one you happen to like and they happen to like you as well…well then enjoy it. Go through life with another person who makes you smile and who isn’t afraid to tell you what you don’t want to hear.

Find somebody who is willing to fight with you in order to make a relationship work and somebody who is willing to go through life with you desperately seeking God’s help for every step because neither of you have life quite figured out yet and that’s ok.

Don’t be afraid to have a best friend like that. Don’t be afraid to have a romantic relationship like that. People are awesome and letting them into your life can bring out a part of you that you would have never seen on your own.

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Don’t be afraid of things going wrong.

Stuff happens.

The dumb stuff that you do doesn’t define who you are it just explains a moment of time which shaped you. Little things, big things, it doesn’t matter. Our identity is in Christ and a sea of stupid choices is not even a drop compared to the great grace and love of the God we define ourselves by.

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Don’t be afraid to explore.

My friends and I explored down town Kansas City and it led to a huge passion for ministry in that area being awakened.

Exploring new things, ideas, or places can be a bit un-nerving but it’s something we have to do if we ever want anything new to happen in our lives.

Also just explore Kansas City, it’s really cool down there. Be proud of where we are.

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Don’t be afraid to depend on other people.

We were created in the image of a God who by definition is in community with himself. We were thus created to be in a community, created to need one another and when we operate in a way in which we were created to operate God is glorified.

When doing theater, you have to depend on everybody- actors, costumers, light technicians, sound technicians, back stage crew members, the set designer, the set builders, the director, the stage manager, and anybody else whose work went into the show. In the end, the product is something that was previously impossible individually but made possible by working together and depending on each other.

So I will try to make the most of life after finals by remembering what was learned, what relationships were gained this semester. My prayer for this week is that I will be profoundly thankful for the gift of education and what life I have lived.