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Passion - MNU Blogs

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!


 

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Twitter: @kenzietheiler
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Katie Linsey

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January 21, 2016

A Passion to Serve at MNU

January 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

MNU has lots of wonderful ministries that give students the opportunity to go into the community and serve others.

To be honest, I’ve been to a few ministries, but haven’t found time in my schedule to regularly commit to attend a ministry.

Last week, I was hired to create the MNU Ministries launch video for this Spring 2016. It was such a blessing to me because it allowed me to hear impactful stories from students who have been investing in ministries for a full semester. It’s encouraging to know that there is a group of students at MNU that devote time to ministries every week.

I love attending a school that equips students to serve in the community, and do it with the passions and talents that the Lord has given them. There are many different ministries, which I’ve listed below in case you’re curious about them.

LOL (Loving on Littles) – A group of students that goes to an apartment complex and plays with children.

Deep Cries Out – An anti-human trafficking ministry that educates themselves, brainstorms ways to help, and prays for the victims.

Freedom Fire – A group of students that goes to a community center to play with children and tell them the Gospel.

EMT (Emergency Mission Team) – This is a new ministry this semester. This group will be available for any “emergencies” that come up in the community.

SMILE (Students Ministering in the Lives of the Elderly) – This group of students goes to a nursing home and sings hymns to the elderly.

Center of Grace – This group of students goes to a soup kitchen and serves people in the community.

I’ve attached the video below so that you can hear from the students yourselves. I hope that you’re inspired and encouraged like I was!

If you’re an MNU student, it’s never too late to sign up for a ministry, or simply attend for a week. :)

If you’re not an MNU student yet, this is what you have to look forward to! A university with a passion to serve, that encourages and equips students to go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

-KT

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.

 

Mackenzie Theiler

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December 5, 2015

Fall Semester Is Almost Over 📚

December 5, 2015 | By | No Comments

There are only two weeks left of our fall semester. We call this period of the semester “crunch time.” This is where a lot of students are trying to do anything and everything to get their letter grade from a B to an A; or for those students struggling to pass that tough class, with a C or better. This is when, students start asking their professors for extra credit, or if there is anything else they can do to get their grade up.

A biology professor of mine, ounce said . . .

“Why would I trust and spend my hard earned money on someone who ‘half-worked’ their way through class and cheated on exams, just to get by? This student who, half-work’s their way through their degree only, ‘half-knows’ their field of study. Would you have faith in that person to be able to preform at the highest level of their job?”

An example this professor used, was a doctor . . .

“Lets say, you need surgery or medical attention of some kind, and the doctor YOU receive, ‘half-worked’ his way through school. As he examines you, he has to google, what it is that could possibly be wrong with you; or he has to look up, what and how much medication, he should give you. This doctor probably did not try very hard in his undergraduate and/or graduate classes. Two, he probably only majored in this field of study for the good pay.”

He is simply stating that the field of study you are majoring in, you should known like the back of your hand, without having to look it up. It should be second nature to you. Find something that is exciting to you, that you can wake up every morning 9 times out of 10, and be excited about what you are studying/majoring in, and one day do for work. If you are majoring in something that doesn’t excite you, then, maybe you should find something that does. At the end of the day, your grades really do matter.

Most internships look at your grades, to see what kind of student you are. They want to know how serious you are about your field and if you truly want to preform well in this field. Your grades reflect that. I understand not everyone is perfect, but if it looks like you are giving it your all, it will show.

After you receive your degree and have worked internships, you are now ready, to be hired by the company or facility you want to work for. They look more at your internships, rather than your grades, because they want to see if you have work experience, in that field or in fields related to that. Most students do not realize, and I believe this is the point, my professor was trying to make, if you have good grades, you have a good work ethic, if you have good work ethic, then the your employer can count on you to get things done. If you have okay, but not good grades, you may have a good work ethic, but just not try as hard; so, you may do well but it is harder for you to get things done.

With all this being said, YOUR GRADES are important. The amount of effort and care you put into them reflect, your determination and dedication to your major and field of study. Find something exciting and interesting to learn, that you can be proud about!


 

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

Renee DeVault

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November 23, 2015

Success Mushroom

November 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

I can’t sing. I am not a musical person. My friends are musical people but I was not given that gift.

I can art…sometimes. People tell me I can art but I won’t attempt to draw something that I’ve never drawn before because people might look at it and realize I’m not very good at arting after all.

I am as good of a Christian as I am ever going to be. I have a certain ability to understand and experience God and I should be content with where I am.

These were statements that I believed about myself about a week ago which I am currently being forced to question due to Dr. Hayse’s annoying habit of actually making his students think.

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In Honors Seminar we are reading Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck in which she asserts that qualities such as intelligence, artistic ability, athletic ability, leadership, and relational ability are not fixed, something one has a certain amount of or none of, but are rather able to grow and develop in a person.

She calls this the Growth Mindset.

Basically if I believe that I am fixed with a certain amount of smart then I will back away from anything that would be challenging because failure would mean a forced identity redefinition. However, in my growth mindset, I see my intelligence as something I can grow by challenging myself, seeking to collaborate with others, and working my butt off.

The book helped me to realize that in the area of intelligence, I was following right along with the growth mindset. If I had read only the first three chapters I would have been totally fine.

But Dr. Hayse made us read the whole book.

The rest of it went on to say that the idea of seeking new challenges, collaborating, and having a good work ethic could be applied to sports, art, music, management, parenting, and teaching.

I was caught in my “I’m not good at music” mindset and despite having a beautiful guitar and a love of music, have stopped trying because I believed the amount of musical talent I had was all I will ever have. If I believe I can grow this ability by challenging myself, asking my musical friends for help, and working at it, perhaps I can enjoy playing again.

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Probably the most fascinating aspect was her thoughts on relationships. I’ll use Quinn (Quinndonesia, Quinnifer Aniston, Bi-Quinning, Quinntervention, To inQuinnity and beyond, the Quinncredible Hulk) as my example.

If I believe that relationships are either good or bad then the moment Quinn and I have a fight I would think that our relationship was inherently bad and thus would avoid any and every possible disagreement for fear of proving our relationship wasn’t as “good” as I had thought.

She called out fairy tales for making “good” relationships look like if they weren’t “meant to be” then they were bad. While I believe that it is true that God has people planned for us to marry, I don’t want to get trapped into thinking that the relationship with my God ordained man will be perfect.

With a growth mindset for relationships, disagreements and fights are seen as opportunities for improvement.

If I have a fixed mindset I may think that some annoying habit Quinn has is unfixable and thus a deal breaker while a growth mindset would refuse to define Quinn by this hypothetical habit and be willing to communicate my feelings about it.

I can’t cognitively imagine having a relationship with anybody without this mindset yet I’ve fallen into the trap of it several times. Luckily by the grace of God and Quinn a fixed mindset has not prevailed.

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The book did not address spirituality but I feel as though I must because it is the area in which it hit me the hardest. I was raised in a Christian house, went to every Sunday school, every VBS, interned at my church three times, and now am a Theology major. Despite all of this I catch myself feeling so depressed about my spiritual life sometimes.

After reading this book, I began to wonder if I think of my Christianity as something fixed. “I can only experience God so much” or “I can only understand so much of the Bible”. If I start letting myself think “I’m about as good as I can get” then I stop trying to get better, stop digging, stop looking for challenging material and stop asking God to come into my life.

I don’t want to get stuck in that mindset.

I want to want to grow. I want to seek new ideas and a deeper experience. I don’t want to be afraid to dive into difficult ideas in the Old Testament or spend hours of my day in prayer.

I don’t want to view others as judging if I am a good Christian or not. I want to view people as allies, fellow travelers in mutually helpful relationships.

I think that is the point of me being in the Honors Program: to grow an intellectual passion for learning, not only in academics but in all areas of life.

To relate it to video games: you have to actively seek the growth mindset mushroom in order to grow to your full potential, and even when you fail and feel small again, be willing to keep seeking again.

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What I’m praying for this week:

That a growth mindset will be fostered in both my own life and in the lives of others in regards to passionate intentionality in walking with Christ. We can decide to give all we can to growth in Christ with the knowledge that where we are not isn’t where we are condemned to always be.

 

Isaac Walker

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November 23, 2015

MNU Serve Team

November 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

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Hey friends!

This past weekend was a pretty wild weekend for me, a few other MNU students, and a whole bunch of teens!  The youth groups of Grace Community Church of the Nazarene and KC First Church of the Nazarene left Friday evening and came together to have a joint fall retreat in Oklahoma.  And I am still exhausted!  Also a little sick…But it was totally worth it!  We saw God move this weekend and it was awesome!

The theme for the weekend was Christ Like Leadership.  The first night, Angie from First Church spoke about dealing with our pride, and as leaders, we should be willing to do whatever we ask of those we are leading.

I went as a sponsor with Grace Community and I also played on the worship team with other students from MNU. There were 8 MNU students total that went on this retreat.  Lizzy Atwell, Amanda Lampley, Thomson and Chi Ticum, Blake Owings, Mark Hall, and I were on the band. Maddie Carson came as well and was a sponsor. Lizzy, Blake and I were also sponsors for Grace Community.

MNU gang minus Maddie.

MNU gang minus Maddie.

On Saturday, our very own Blake spoke!  He told the story of Moses and when we are Christians, we are automatically called to be leaders.

We had a lot of free time Saturday between meals and services just to hang out and get to know each other.  There were a few different activities we could do. A lot of people played soccer, some played gaga ball, and others played basket ball.  But one of the most fun things we did was the massive zip line.  After we all got our harnesses on, we walked over to a suspended bridge.  Now I don’t really have a fear of heights but there were a few people there (Mark Hall) who were pretty scared!  I almost fell just from how hard I was laughing!

The suspended bridge.

The suspended bridge.

Once we made it across the bridge we had to walk up a massive, rocky hill to the tower.  It was about that time I noticed how cold it was.  And the farther we went up the tower the windier it got. It was ridiculous how windy it ended up being at the top!  It was worth it though because it was so fun!

Walking to the tower.

Walking to the tower.

Our youth group ready for the zip line!

Our youth group ready for the zip line!

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Sunday, we all woke up early, had breakfast, and went over to the chapel for the final service.  There Roland, who is the youth pastor for KC First Church spoke.  The sermons were all great.  We are fortunate to know these gifted people who are passionate for knowing God and delivering His word, but I got the most from a conversation I had with an old friend.

I worked at a summer camp two summers ago in Colorado.  When I walked into the mess hall for the first time, I saw someone that looked familiar.  Her name was Danielle and she was on my team when I was in Colorado!  I was so excited to see her!  During free time on Saturday I went over to her room and we drank coffee and caught up on life.  I opened up to her about how my life after working in Colorado hasn’t turned out the way I expected and how it was actually a pretty hard time for me and my family.  She told me her story, her struggles and how her life before working in Colorado was turned upside down.  She said something to me that really resonated.  She said “You can tell God you are mad with Him.  He already knows, but it is good to get it out on the table.”  She then went on to say that when we do that, we allow God to walk with us through these trials.  Our conversation really meant a lot to me.

Overall, even though I feel pretty awful now, the retreat was a really good escape from life and school. Even though it was only a few days.  I know I’m not the only one that got something good from it.

The whole GC gang...

The whole GC gang…

No caption needed.

No caption needed.

Until next time friends!

Renee DeVault

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November 17, 2015

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! I attempt to blog about newspaper!

November 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

When I decided to come to MNU, one of the first things I did was grab one of the newspapers from Bell Center when I went to a choir concert. I’m not even sure I read the whole thing, to be honest, but right from the beginning I knew that an element of my life was going to be wrapped up in this paper.

At MNU the paper is called The Trailblazer. The print edition comes out roughly three times a semester, and the online version is usually updated every week.

Over the summer I met with the advisor, Melinda Ablard-Smith, for coffee at Starbucks. Nervous, I told her that, despite having little to no journalism experience, I was wanting to potentially write for the school paper.

Melinda was incredibly helpful in answering all of my questions, and she assured me I would be able to sign up for–and fit into my schedule–the class.

Basically, how the newspaper works is students enroll in a class, called Multimedia Workshop, which is a one credit hour class that meets at 6:30 Monday nights. This semester Melinda is teaching a journalism workshops at 5:30, before class, where we all get together, eat good food, get chocolate thrown at us for answering questions, and just generally have a good time together while learning the nuts and bolts of journalism.

Advertisement last year for students interested in signing up to work for the Trailblazer

Advertisement last year featuring the modeling talent of Josh Brisco to promote Journalism at MNU.

The actual Multimedia Workshop class splits into students doing Yearbook or Newspaper, and then the Newspaper students further split into three categories: the editors, the reporters, and the video team. This semester I am a reporter.

At the beginning of the actual Trailblazer class session, Melinda sits down with all three groups and goes over a short journalism lesson, recites a bible verse, asks for prayer requests, and then leads the team in a group prayer. Then she dismisses the video team and turns over the class to the Editor-in-Chief, our fearless leader, Robbie Wegley.

Robbie and Josh (Joshua Brisco, Managing/News Editor) usually talk through some specific things the reporters need to work on (like the fact that I keep forgetting to submit pictures with my stories), talk about some current events both in the world and at the school, and then go through story pitches.

Every week the reporters and the editors turn in story pitches–ideas for stories or topics we think the Trailblazer should cover. In class, Robbie reads through the pitches, asks those who pitched them to expand upon their ideas, and decides which stories make the cut. The stories are then assigned to reporters, who usually have the rest of that week to get the story done and sent to their section editor.

I’ve worked mostly with Josh, for news, and Morgan Peiffer, for life stories. Wyatt Stark edits sports, and Sydney Wright edits opinion pieces. Katie Linsey edits the videos, and Hailey Kendrick is the graphic designer.

The Staff

The Staff

When I first started writing stories, I was pretty freaked out. I had never conducted an interview, or wrote any sort of news story before, but the editors really helped me out. If anybody is thinking about being a reporter next semester, I would highly encourage it even if you don’t have any journalism experience. The writing is very different than writing for school papers, or almost any other assignment I’ve been given.

It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, I just get to talk to people about what they’re passionate about, and I help them communicate that passion to people who may not have otherwise been able to hear about it. That’s my favorite way of looking at articles.

For example, I got to talk to people involved in the LQVE Haiti Passion to Serve project for my first article. I got the article done, but I also got to hear their stories about Quincy, their vision for the future, and their passion for what they are doing. I count it as a great privilege.

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And of course not all stories are like that, but I have yet to be assigned story that didn’t require me learning something new in order to write it. Yes, it is a lot of hard work, but I have met so many people I never expected to meet.

How many students have sat down for half of an hour and really talked to the Manager of the IT department or the head of Campus Security? They are incredible people who have a lot of passion for their jobs, and they taught me things about their respective departments that I never knew, ways they are serving the school that I would have otherwise overlooked.

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It took me out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways, but I think that is what makes it one of my favorite things I do on campus. I am forced to learn in order to continue, and I’m forced to work closely with people if I want anything to get done. In the end getting the paper out is a team effort, and I’m incredibly proud of it.

I also think that having a completely student led newspaper that is allowed to talk about tough subjects, present opposing sides to issues, and investigate the school itself speaks incredibly highly of MNU. It is hard to brag about The Trailblazer without bragging about this school.

The Forum is one of my favorite sections of the paper where opposing viewpoints about an issue are discussed.

The Forum is one of my favorite sections of the paper where opposing viewpoints about an issue are discussed.

And most of all The Trailblazer is just fun…at least for me it is 😉

The people who work for the paper know how to talk to people, know how to tell a good story, and tend to enjoy being around each other. I love hearing everybody’s opinions about topics in class, and I also enjoy listening to them talk about what is happening in their lives and around campus.

Plus you get to experience the hilarity of Josh after class ends, and that’s always fun.

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Trailblazer Online Link

Mackenzie Theiler

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November 5, 2015

✧Always Find the Light in the Dark✦

November 5, 2015 | By | No Comments

 

http://www.alwaysonpurpose.com/2015/02/hardship/

This woman is phenomenal! Her name is Amy Wong. She is a professional life coach. If you ever need guidance or just enjoy reading inspiration articles, she knows what she is talking about! I picked this article for you guys all to read because it is extremely inspirational. If you are having a hard time with something, this article can definitely help you through your hardship. She has tons of other articles posted, about different things that could be going on in your life. The main motto of all her topics is, that everything is on purpose! Even though, times may get tough, there is always an upside to every downside. Keep staying positive and stay strong, even when you feel like giving up. One of my favorite quotes is: Before you give up, remember why you started!”


Facebook: /kenzie.theiler
Twitter: @kenzietheiler
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Renee DeVault

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October 26, 2015

Don’t Go as God for Halloween

October 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

Fall break was this week. I vowed to do two things

  1. To kickstart a revival of my bible reading habit
  2. To get all of my homework done so I could bask in a glorious no-homework, stress-free beginning of my week

Let’s just say God may be happier regarding my fall break reading habits than my professors. I didn’t get much homework done. I read my bible and hung out with my friends doing caffeine induced non-study study parties, mall trips, movie nights, and listening to music.

In communications studies there is a concept called “reframing” in which the words chosen to describe something effect how one perceives it or acts towards it. So instead of saying “I slacked off and hung out with friends and read my bible instead of my textbook”…I’ll say “I spent Fall Break forming meaningful relationships with both humans and the almighty” which causes me to think better of myself than I probably should :)

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I don’t know if you have ever had this happen to you, but sometimes when I read the Bible God smacks me in the face with something and no matter where I go it follows me. I believe God has to do this to me because I am stubborn and often refuse to listen to what I need to hear the most.

The phrase of the weekend for me seemed to be “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” This is the beginning of Proverbs 1:7 in the NIV. Other translations substitute knowledge for wisdom but something about the word knowledge stuck with me better. Being a college student I am pretty much a knowledge leech, just frantically soaking up anything I can get from my professors, friends, and random internet literature.

Later in Proverbs 2:1-5 Solomon writes that the fear of the Lord comes from storing up the commands of God in us, attempting to understand them, and earnestly seeking further understanding of them. I had never thought of “the fear of the Lord” that way. But, since I didn’t want to write a paper and I had a perfectly good cup of hot apple cider already made and sitting on my desk, I decided to try it.

In Pentateuch with Dr. Edlin we’re studying the Exodus. I began to think about Moses standing before the God who brought the horrifying plagues on Egypt, who killed the first born of all of their households, who parted the red sea and killed the Egyptian army. I thought about when Moses first came before God and had to remove his shoes. I thought about how, later, the Israelites couldn’t go on the mountain of God because God’s presence would destroy them. And in light of the acts of a terrifying all powerful God, I thought about the commands God gave his people and how immediately God’s people broke those rules.

This led me to think about the law in general, the rules we follow as Christians and I began to realize something about myself. I’m not afraid to sin. I know that sounds odd, but in that moment I realized I’ve never really felt the wrath of God when I’ve sinned. The ground has never swallowed me up, I have never been struck by lightning, my water bottle has never suddenly turned to blood, and I may have been attacked by a frog once but I do not believe that was retribution from God.

The grace of God is incredible. He is the same God today as he was in the Old Testament. My physical, sinful self should not be able to physically exist in the presence of God and yet I know his presence is with me wherever I go.

I take for granted the fact that I can just pray to him. I don’t have to climb a mountain, and almost more importantly for me, I don’t have to be Moses. I don’t have to be born of a Levite or brutally murder petting zoo animals in order to talk to God.

Reading the Old Testament and Proverbs always makes me feel humbled. I am living in the Kingdom of God, a new era of personal relationship with the Father. That is a huge gift. I was very convicted as to the level of my own personal reverence of God. He put me in my place as a puny little human and praying from that perspective feels much more natural to me. I guess the fear of the Lord helped me gain some knowledge about my own shortcomings in that department.

To throw one back to Communications, I had to reframe my concept of myself from “obligated to pray to God” to “somehow miraculously able to talk to God”. My reality didn’t change, but the way I perceived it did and that in turn has effected how I’ve been praying.

So I am most in fear and awe of God while entering this Halloween season. Ghosts and Vampires are not real, but an all powerful being who can destroy whole nations with the words of his mouth is real. I’m just glad in his grace he has let me be on his side.

Two things I’m praying for this week

  1. Appreciation and acknowledgement of the sheer might and power of the God I am attempting to serve
  2. A humble and thankful heart for God’s grace and acknowledgment of my wimpy human status

 

Renee DeVault

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October 19, 2015

How to Make Friends with the Awkward Dinosaur

October 19, 2015 | By | No Comments

One question that I get asked all the time is, “Renee! My goodness, you are a college student now, what ever is your major?”

I reply with “Good Sir or Madam, I am a double major in “Bible and Theology” and “Communications”. I love it very much.”

To which they reply, “Good heavens! What an unusual combination! What ever do you plan to do with your life?”

And they receive from me a blank look of alarm because despite my air of cool collectedness I am quite uncertain of my path in life. This fact never really bothers me unless somebody asks me about it. I know I am supposed to be a Bible and Theology major. I know I am supposed to be a communications major. I know I am supposed to be at MNU. I’d say I’m pretty well off for now.

As my boyfriend Quinn (Quinston Churchill, Quintonamore, Quinny-the-pooh, Because of Quinn Dixie, Quinn to the Woods) often tells me, “God doesn’t give you the tickets until you’re ready to board the train.”

Quinn and I at homecoming this weekend

Quinn and I at homecoming this weekend

So I’ll be content waiting at the station with my bible and giant communications text book nerding out over communications theories and how they relate to the bible and my group of friends.

Speaking of friends, I had a lot of fun this homecoming!

Friday night a group of us went down into Kansas City for an adventure

Friday night a group of us went down into Kansas City for an adventure

Quinn and I love going on adventures like these with our friends

Quinn and I love going on adventures like these with our friends

We often compare Jordan to Ted from How I Met Your Mother so we made him take this photo with a dumpster

We often compare Jordan to Ted from How I Met Your Mother so we made him take this photo with a dumpster

We found an alley with art all over the walls. It was insanely cool stuff and we had a lot of fun with it.

We found an alley with art all over the walls. It was insanely cool stuff and we had a lot of fun with it.

Quinn had a brilliant idea to start posing with the art.

Quinn had a brilliant idea to start posing with the art.

Alex and Shakespeare

Alex and Shakespeare

We went to "Thou Mayest",  an awesome coffee shop in Kansas City

We went to “Thou Mayest”, an awesome coffee shop in Kansas City

We got up on the roof of the coffee shop and had a cool view of the city.

We got up on the roof of the coffee shop and had a cool view of the city.

Saturday afternoon we decided to go to the Cider Mill.

Saturday afternoon we decided to go to the Cider Mill.

Sparkling cider and donuts made an awesome pre-homecoming snack

Sparkling cider and donuts made an awesome pre-homecoming snack

Homecoming was incredible. Quinn and I have a fun habit of attempting to ballroom dance to pop songs

Homecoming was incredible. Quinn and I have a fun habit of attempting to ballroom dance to pop songs

Sunday afternoon we went to IKEA for dinner and adventuring

Sunday afternoon we went to IKEA for dinner and adventuring

Throughout our adventures this weekend, one of my communication theories stuck out in my head. Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor’s Social Penetration Theory basically states that deeper intimacy and closer friendships with people can be achieved through a process of self-disclosure and vulnerability.

It explains personality like an onion where, to get to a person’s core, you need to get through layers of more shallow or obvious information. It encourages, to gain more meaningful and intimate relationships, voluntarily opening up to people with both depth and breadth. This basically means letting people know who you really are, what you really think, and letting them have this information for multiple areas of your life.

There’s a lot more to it, but that’s the key point.

When we first studied this theory (sorry Dr. Hamilton) I thought it seemed nice, but I doubted that simply telling deep and diverse stories would lead to close friendships. I thought personality, similarity, and spending time together would be bigger factors, however, when I was out with some of my friends this weekend I began to think about this theory a little bit more.

Our trip to the city brought out conversations of various Kansas City experiences and city experiences in general. When we got to the coffee shop and were walking around we got into a conversation about experiences with spiritual warfare and our vision for Kansas City as a church. This formed into a conversation about our personal strengths and weaknesses.

Our cider mill trip sparked conversation about fall and Halloween family traditions which led to talking about our families and fall traditions we miss now that we’re in college.

Going to IKEA led to conversation about our future plans and dreams.

These are some of my closest friends. Over the course of a single weekend we hit several topics of conversation and we have known each other long enough to be comfortable in talking about things we wouldn’t usually talk about with casual friendships. We were naturally participating in this communications theory without even realizing it, but now that I’ve learned about it I can use it to make other friends.

But self-disclosure involves vulnerability which is difficult to do. In order to grow in my boldness to share to and be open with potential close friends I have turned to the bible.

In 2 Corinthians 6:11 Paul writes “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.”

The Beginning of James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

So as I love and appreciate my friends, I realize that I can’t keep my spiritual life, struggles, visions, and dreams a secret from my friends. It’s in the Bible and in my Communications Text book so I should probably listen to it.

I’m the girl who runs around IKEA acting like a raptor from Jurassic Park…I need all the help making friends I can get.

Points I’m praying over.

  1. I want to be willing to be real with my friends. If God is really the center of my life I want to be willing to talk about him and my relationship with him including struggles and visions. I want to be vulnerable to my friends so as to better the kingdom of God.
  2. I want to be the kind of person that people feel comfortable opening up to without fear. As deep of information they want to give and about any subject they want to give it I want to be trustworthy enough in their eyes to be someone to have a close friendship with.