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MNU - 2/9 - MNU Blogs

Aaron Merrell

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November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Break and Visiting Friends

November 29, 2014 | By | One Comment

Hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving!  I had a great time with family and friends, and of course I had to do some major shopping Thursday evening and Friday morning (and yes, I did sleep from 7am-2pm on Friday).

Then today, my friends Rico, Annie and I went to Abilene, KS to see our friend Ana.  We also met up with Ana’s friend who we’ve all come to love, Jordan.  We toured the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Childhood Home in Abilene, and also went to such glamorous Abilene hot spots as Taco Grande, Pizza Hut and Sonic.  We also had the opportunity to visit the local park/playground.

Of course when one is as close as we were to a Braum’s restaurant you have no choice but to go.  I tried a holiday flavor and it left me bitter, once again, that we don’t have one here in Kansas City.

This trip and a few others have shown me the importance of visiting friends at home as often as you can.  This can give life to their stories about their houses, their families, and what they did back home during High School.  Even if it means having to survive a small, old town for a day, you can have an amazing, eye-opening time!

Here’s a bonus picture of Ana, Annie and I on horse swings made of recycled tires in Abilene today:

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Hope you all have an awesome week, and I’ll see you next weekend!

-Aaron

Katie Linsey

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November 27, 2014

9 People I’m Thankful For At MNU

November 27, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

Since today is Thanksgiving, I figured it would be appropriate to give shout-outs to the people I’m most thankful for at MNU. I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to know everyone on campus, but these people have made my experience at MNU extraordinary. Here’s my top 9… love you all!

1. Christa Johnson

Christa Johnson

This girl is not only my roommate, but also my best friend at MNU. When we decided to be roommates in May, I honestly didn’t expect to become so close with her so fast, but it happened. She knows me better than anyone else at MNU and I can completely be myself around her. I wouldn’t trade the late nights and early mornings for anything.

 

2. The Gangstas

The Gangstas

The girls on my hall are great and I’ve become extremely close with a group of them. We like to call ourselves the “gangstas.” Don’t really ask me how we came up with that, because I don’t have an answer. The “gangstas” group consists of Christa Johnson, Hannah Bostic, J.D. Andrews, Ashton Mason, Natalie Cumberland and myself. It’s been a joy doing everyday life with them at MNU. They are an answered prayer in so many ways that they don’t even know. We laugh hard and dig deep and it’s the best group I’ve ever been a part of.

 

3. Ana Weissenbach 

Ana Weissenbach

This girl is my RA, but more than that, she is a dear friend of mine. I have a strong feeling that Ana would act with the same selflessness and genuine care about everyone she meets even if she wasn’t being paid to do so. That’s the thing about her… she just genuinely loves people and shows the love of Christ in everything she does. It’s seriously inspiring. I look up to her on so many levels and I’m so blessed to be able to share the joys and struggles of life with her this year.

 

4. Dani Morgan

Dani Morgan

This girl is the reason I am at MNU. Sounds a little exaggerated, I know, but it’s really not. When I came to SCOUT at MNU my junior year, I was extremely blessed to have been able to room with her and Alex (the inseparable duo). We hit it off and decided to keep in touch. Then, when I ended up at SCOUT again my senior year, I was welcomed into her dorm like it was my own home. Even while I was still in high school, she managed to show me a glimpse of the community at MNU just by the way she loved me and cared about me. Now that I’m at MNU and get to see her everyday, I’m the happiest person.

 

5. Pete Brumbaugh 

Pete Brumbaugh

Pete Brumbaugh, otherwise known as Phonathon Pete, was my boss for the past 6 weeks. He deserves the biggest shout-out for being one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. He genuinely cares about all of his employees, and I can confidently say he genuinely cares about me. He wants to hear about my life and realizes that there’s life outside of the workplace. He has been one of my greatest encouragers during my first semester at MNU and I’m excited for the future of the Phonathon with him as my boss!

 

6. My Blog Bosses (Kelly, Kim, and Amy)

MNU Blogs

This team of people that live in Dobson deserve so much recognition for all they do. When I initially interviewed with Kim and Amy, I knew immediately that I wanted to be on the blogging team. Kelly, Kim, and Amy are all amazing people and getting to know them has been so fun. I’m super thankful for this job everyday. I enjoy it so much and I owe them all a giant THANKS for making this experience one to remember. The blogs wouldn’t exist without these people!

 

7. Britney Lewis

Britney Lewis

This girl is an amazing friend on so many levels. I met her at a Youthfront get-together over the summer and through the MNU Facebook page, and I’m so glad we’ve become friends this year. She is so in tune with The Lord and that is so inspiring to me. It’s been fun travelling to LaCygne with her and growing with her. She’s super fun and is definitely a light in my world!

 

8. Mario Flores

Mario Flores

This guy is my brother (theologically speaking, of course). I met him two summers ago at Youthfront and I realize now what a divine appointment that was. We kept in touch a bit throughout the school year and following summer, and now I go to school with him. It’s so weird to me, but I am so thankful that I get to experience the community at MNU with him. I can trust him with anything and know with confidence that his advice is given with my best interest in mind. He is super wise and loves The Lord in a beautiful way. I’m forever grateful to be your little sis!

 

9. Deanna Williams 

Deanna Williams

Deanna is a person I look up to on many levels. She is a fantastic role model for all the girls on campus because of the way she loves God and loves people. She is so selfless, pouring into young people for the sake of Christ. She has given me great advice and been there to listen when I need someone to digress to. I absolutely love seeing her around campus and on Wednesday nights.

 

So… there you have it! The people that make my experience at MNU the best I could ever imagine. I’m excited to continue meeting awesome people at the awesome place. :) Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Enjoy the rest of your break!

-KT

Samantha Moore

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November 26, 2014

Be: Thankful

November 26, 2014 | By | One Comment


I AM SO THANKFUL FOR CATS! Okay but for real there is a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, like my family! Being able to spend time with my family is what is important during the holidays! So much tests, papers, project and homework have made me thankful to spend time with my family!

Comment or chat with me!!

Haley Raydo

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November 24, 2014

Values: A Challenge for Thanksgiving Break

November 24, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

Today I was inspired to write a quick note about a sermon I heard yesterday in church. David Perkins came in and guest spoke for my church’s (Cross Points Church) missions month. This particular sermon really had me thinking and evaluating, so I thought I would share!

“Worship is a response to something we value most.”

This was a HUGE statement for me.  I value a lot of things.  I love my sports teams, I love my family and friends, I love Netflix (you can see my post from two weeks ago to fully understand), I love to read and write, I love to play the piano, and so much more! What happens when we value something?  We spend our time there, we spend our money there, we focus our thoughts there, etc.  Those things that I value aren’t bad things, however they sometimes get in the way of what I should value MOST.  I don’t want to worship materialism, or even my family! But if I put them at my highest value point, as I so often do, I am indeed worshipping something that is not intended to be worshiped.

If I spent as much time learning about and building a relationship with the Lord than I do watching The Office, or if I spent as much money (or some financial contribution) as much as I do to attend a Chiefs or Royals game, what would happen?  What would it look like?

I think the Lord has called us out to step above and beyond what we on a regular base give him.  I challenge you (and myself), as we go on break, spend time with Him.  If you normally spend 15 minutes a day, start there and slowly increase the time daily.  Next take the challenge to give money, if you are a student I understand the sacrifice… but I think that is why it is of so much value… it is a sacrifice.  Give money to your church, find a ministry or charity you believe God has given you a passion for, or (since this month is missions month at our church) help raise money for missionaries around the world.

It may seem challenging at first, but I think this will slowly change my priorities of what I value most.  When you find something with that high a priority of value, it becomes the standard and measure that everything else must be compared to.  That is the life I want to live! Take the challenge with me this Thanksgiving break!

Also this picture is from a worship night by Bethel Music.  How cool would it have been to be there??!!

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Aaron Merrell

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November 22, 2014

An MNU/KC/Santa Ricky Christmas

November 22, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

Hey all!

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, and to me, that means it’s basically Christmas!

To prepare for this Christmas in Kansas City, I’ve already purchased my Santa Hat, and my friends and I have christened my friend Rico McKay and “Santa Ricky.” (He even has his own parody twitter account, @RealSantaRicky)

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So, for this blog, I’m going to analyze the Kansas City Christmas Experience, with photos of Santa Ricky and his merry pals peppered in.

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Every Kansas City Christmas experience must include several trips to see the plaza lights, including the night of Thanksgiving, when the lights that adorn the Country Club Plaza are finally turned on.  They stay on through New Year’s, and they truly mark the beginning of the Christmas season in Kansas City.

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Next, we move on to Christmas Light tours.  I particularly like to take my friends to the homes around Ward Parkway and 63d Street in Kansas City, MO and Mission Hills, KS.  These professionally decorated homes are already unique and awesome to look at, and the lights make them even more spectacular.

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After a drive around those neighborhoods, my other favorite Christmas spot in Kansas City is the Ice Terrace at Crown Center.  Ice skating here is fun, (even though I have to re-learn how to skate every single time) and an extremely good time, and I definitely recommend it as well.

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These are just a few spots of so many more around the city, and I hope you’re able to come to MNU so you can experience them and people like Santa Ricky yourself!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving breaks, see you in a week!

 

Aaron

Samantha Moore

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November 19, 2014

It’s almost over!

November 19, 2014 | By | No Comments

I can not already be a senior… this is really life guys! 

Haley Raydo

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November 17, 2014

How To Stay Warm

November 17, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

Sooo it is cold outside.  Literally I am looking at the weather report right now and it says that it feels like 9 degrees outside.  And we all scream and plea “WHYYY” I have never had the urge to skip more classes in my life, not because of the class itself but because of HOW COLD it is! Seriously though, that should be reason enough to cancel classes.

Anywho, I thought it would be most convenient of me to provide a semi-sarcastic, semi-realtalk on how to stay warm.

1. Don’t go outside.  Seriously, avoid it at all costs.  Just hibernate all winter… like a bear.  If that was socially, financially, and spiritually acceptable I think I might consider. I would say goodbye to all my loved ones and bam you wouldn’t see me until March.

2. Wear layers.  I hope for most of you this is an immediate “duh” however according to some people on this campus and other college campuses around the country I might think differently.  I mean seriously! Flip flops? And you think you are done with the “bro tank” phase once winter hits, but believe me you are not. I guess muscle men don’t get cold? Are “muscle men” a thing?

3. Sometimes you have to sacrifice.  I would like to think I am a girl who likes to dress “cute.”  I mean I tend to be the friend of the group who is rarely seen in sweat pants and t-shirts. But sometimes you have to be willing to sacrifice to keep warm.  In a perfect world, this is how I would want to dress for winter: (courtesy of my obsession with pinterest)

cute winter fashionBut when you step outside and it literally feels like someone is punching you in the face, sacrifices are made so I end up with something like this: (courtesy of twitter @haleyraydo)

me this winterMaybe I am not to that extent yet, but I feel that way.  I also feel like I make that face quite a bit.  I see people walking all the time with their completely normal face, and when I am walking out in cold weather I make the worst faces.  Oh well.  Again, sacrifices.

Now winter isn’t all bad– I love the snow (when I don’t have to drive in it), THANKSGIVING, Christmastime, College Basketball (Go NEERS and gooo to my Jayhawks), Football, warm sweaters, chai lattes.. you know… But all this will be relevant around January/February.

The point of this, I am not sure.  It might be me venting of my hatred for single digit weather, or it may be of help to those of you who struggle with these concepts…

Also, if my Minnesota relatives or my Alaskan friends are reading this– I know, I’m a wimp.

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

 

Katie Linsey

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November 13, 2014

5 Things Phonathon Taught Me

November 13, 2014 | By | One Comment

For the past six weeks, I’ve been working at the MNU Phonathon. What I thought would just be another job has turned out to double as a ministry and be a place where I’ve met some really great friends. Here’s some things I’ve learned through this experience…

1. You never know where life will take you

At Phonathon, I’ve had the great privilege of talking to alumni, parents, and friends of the university that have lived great lives with many unexpected turns. It’s always interesting to hear how God works in people’s lives and leads them to places they never thought they’d end up. I get to hear the stories of the people that changed their major 17 times and still aren’t working in their field of study, but are following God’s will for their lives with so much joy. Talking to people that have experienced unexpected change in their life gives me encouragement. It gives me hope to know that God will lead me where He wants me; in whatever fashion He wishes to do so.

2. Everybody has a story

I especially love talking to alumni of the university because I get to hear about their lives after they graduate. Their careers, relationships, children, etc… Everybody has a different, unique story. It’s so fascinating to hear people’s journeys and where God has led them so far in life. Some stories are crazier than others, but every story is beautiful and special.

3. You’ll never know if you don’t ask

Okay, this one is a little more light-hearted. At Phonathon, we like to ask donors to slightly increase their gifts from previous years to give them the opportunity to support students at MNU on a higher level than they did before. There have been times when I’ve felt a bit uncomfortable asking, but more than I have expected, donors have been happy to increase their support. This has taught me a practical lesson… that we won’t ever know if we don’t ask. This can be applied to many aspects of life. I want to live a life of boldness, not of fear. I want to take chances. (Yes, I realize the comparison is a bit of a stretch, but there’s some truth hidden in there somewhere.)

4. It’s good to help people we don’t know

If you read my blog from last week, you know that I recently sponsored a child with my friend. I don’t personally know her, but I want to help her because I have the means to do it and I want the best for her. This is how some of the donors feel about the students at MNU. A lot of them have told me that they are praying for me and wish me the best of luck in my education. They are more than ready to give me advice and listen to my experiences at MNU so far. And, then, they show that they care by giving a financial gift that goes to student scholarships. It’s really encouraging and refreshing to know that, here at MNU, we have an army of people out there praying for us and supporting us. This pushes me to try to help people that I don’t personally know, because they may need me.

5. Prayer is powerful

At Phonathon, we have prayer cards at every station, which are cards that we can fill out for donors if they need prayer for anything. I think that’s one of my favorite things about Phonathon—that we can ask donors if they need prayer, and then actually pray for them as a team. It’s powerful stuff, guys. The donors are so thankful that we care enough to pray about them, and we are thankful that we get to be involved in their lives… even if it’s in a minute way.

So… there you have it! Just a few of the many things Phonathon has taught me. It’s been a great job for the past six weeks. I’m definitely going to miss it.

Shameless plug: If this sounds fun to you (and it is!), apply next year! :)

-KT

A few of the friends I’ve made at Phonathon. We rock those headsets pretty hard.

Luther Okeyo

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November 11, 2014

This is it…. Senior Week…

November 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Wow this it… This game against Avila is my last guaranteed home game in an MNU uniform. It’s very bitter sweet for me. One hand we will outright win the conference this week with a win against Avila but on the other it’s my last home game ever as an MNU pioneer. It’s one the last times I will ever put on the pioneer uniform. I’ve had some great memories here, it’s hard to believe that it’s all coming to an end.

On March 23, 2011, I made the committment to come to MNU, little did I know how much this would change my life. There is my mom on the left, and the man who made all this possible, John Diaz.

On March 23, 2011, I made the commitment to come to MNU, Little did I know how much this would change my life. There is my mom on the left, and on the right, the man who made all this possible, John Diaz.

The journey to where I am has been long, amazing, frustrating, and many other verbs I can’t really think of right now. Either way this journey changed my life in a way I ever really thought possible. We all have an idea of what college is about, but MNU gives it’s students a very unique college experience.

Here I am, as a Freshman. Weighing in at a lofty 160 pounds, with my whole future ahead of me. Who would've known that would've lead to where I am right now.

Here I am, as a Freshman. Weighing in at a lofty 160 pounds, with my whole future ahead of me. Who would’ve known that would’ve lead to where I am right now.

Throughout my football career here at MNU I’ve basically seen it all. I’ve been through the highs and lows. Like my freshman and sophomore year when we were rolling, winning the huge games, playing for HAAC championships, and most special of all playing at Pioneer stadium (not trying to start anything but come on, we need that thing built!) I’ve seen football at MNU change so much, and I’ve even been apart by one of the biggest things a football program can go through, a coaching change. With a new coaching staff comes a new philosophy, a new way to do things, and a new approach to the game of football.

It’s amazing to see what coach Willmer has done to the program, in just his first year. We shocked the world. Nobody outside of the MNU faithful even gave a chance to do anything this year, we were supposed to be rebuilding, and we let everyone know that we are ready to go. I can’t wait to see where coach leads this program in the years to come.

Shoutout to the senior class, we stuck it out through it all, the 5-5 season last year, waking up at 5 am to work out in January and February, spring ball, fall camp, I mean I could keep going on and on. There is never going to be a senior class like ours.

Here we are, the senior class for the 2014 MNU Pioneers football team:

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#1 Linebacker – Justin Vargas

#2 TE - Zach "Carrot Top" Brandsted

#2 Tightend – Zach “Carrot Top” Brandsted

#7 Cornerback - DeRahn "Primetime" Williams

#7 Cornerback – DeRahn “Primetime” Williams

#8 Wide Receiver - Chris "Money Man" Fields

#8 Wide Receiver – Chris “Money Man” Fields

#14  Wide Receiver - Taylor "TD" Davis

#14 Wide Receiver – Taylor “TD” Davis

#24 Running Back - Charles Quainoo

#24 Running Back – Charles Quainoo

#32 Long Snapper - Will Hertel

#32 Long Snapper – Will Hertel

#44 Defensive Lineman - Mason "Mad Dogg" Mathews

#44 Defensive Lineman – Mason “Mad Dogg” Mathews

#45 - "Pretty Boy" Nick Richardson

#45 Linebacker – “Pretty Boy” Nick Richardson

#47 - JT "They Call Him Nasty" Braddock (Don't ask... I don't know why they call him that)

#47 Defensive Lineman – JT “They Call Him Nasty” Braddock (Don’t ask… I don’t know why they call him that)

#52 Defensive Lineman - Demarco Kemp

#52 Defensive Lineman – Demarco Kemp

#53 Offensive Lineman - Armand Banks

#53 Offensive Lineman – Armand Banks

#73 Offensive Lineman - Jose "Burrito" Carillo-Ayala (He's the guy on the left)

#73 Offensive Lineman – Jose “Burrito” Carillo-Ayala (He’s the guy on the left)

#74 Offensive Lineman - Andrew "Chevy" Sexton-Chavoya

#74 Offensive Lineman – Andrew “Chevy” Sexton-Chavoya

#87 Wide Receiver - Yours Truly Luther "Crunchy" Okeyo

#87 Wide Receiver – Yours Truly Luther “Crunchy” Okeyo

 

 

 

 

 

Luther Okeyo

By

November 11, 2014

Baker Week

November 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Aright I want you to picture this, it’s late in the fourth quarter, Baker has driven down to our 3 yard line and they are lining up for a 20 yard field goal. If you know anything about football you know that a 20 yard field is a chip shot for any kicker (well most kickers). The game will be won or lost on this play. George Tombaugh with the call…

If there ever was a play that exemplified our season, this is it. Every time it looked like we were down and out, somebody comes up with a huge play to keep us alive. This time it was Coop and Primetime coming up with the play this time. Throught out my MNU life, one of the biggest and parts of it are times we play Baker no matter what sport. I mean IT’S BAKER!!! Ok it’s really hard to explaining you just gotta be here to experience it.

Anyway back to the game. If you weren’t able to watch the game, you really missed out on a great game. I mean it really had everything, think about it, it was homecoming week, IT WAS BAKER WEEK, they were ranked as the #2 in the nation. Nobody really gave us a chance, to win the game. From the very beginning, the game went back and forth, but we struck first with Coop picking off a Baker pass, in which turned into a field goal. After swapping TDs, it just became a defensive slugfest with both offenses struggling to score. The score at halftime 14-10 with us winning. Javon Taylor had the play of first half with his 53 yard TD. George Tombaugh with the call…

Baker started the second half off hot. They scored twice in the 3rd quarter, but we responded with a TD drive of our own. Using a little trick we’ve been saving for a game like this. George Tombaugh with the call…

Baker wasn’t the #2 team in the nation for nothing. They took back the lead and had a chance to ice the game in the fourth quarter before Coop and Prime made the play of the game. But 2 penalties pushed us back to the 44 yard line. A couple plays later, on 3rd and 18, Sunshine found Simmy for a key first down, but Simmy did more than just get a first down. George Tombaugh with the call…

We ended up winning the game in overtime, on a 2 yard TD run on fourth down run by Erik May. It was a great game, probably the best game I have ever been apart of.  We took over the top spot in the HAAC, we once again shocked the world and now it’s time for us to finish the season strong. On a year where MNU was so supposed to be rebuilding, we showed everyone we are for real and we put the nation on notice.

One of the stand outs was Trent "Sunshine" Hedlund. He was 26-38 for a career-high 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.

One of the stand outs was Trent “Sunshine” Hedlund. He was 26-38 for a career-high 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Javon Taylor aka the muscle hamster, once again balled out, he is the horse that really carries our offense.  He ran 14 times for 60 yards and caught 6 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Javon Taylor aka the muscle hamster, once again balled out, he is the horse that really carries our offense. He ran 14 times for 60 yards and caught 6 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Ok it's about time that this kid gets his props. This is our kicker Cristian Casillas, he is only a freshman but he is the best kicker in the HAAC, and on of the best kickers in the nation and HE IS ONLY A FRESHMAN. He leads the nation in field goals, total field goals, scoring and is second in the nation total scoring. This man is a beast.

Ok it’s about time that this kid gets his props. This is our kicker Cristian Casillas, he is only a freshman but he is the best kicker in the HAAC, and one of the best kickers in the nation and HE IS ONLY A FRESHMAN!! He leads the nation in field goals, total field goals, scoring and is second in the nation in total scoring. This man is a beast.