Student missionaries visit the queen
Aug27

Student missionaries visit the queen

England is the land of Queen Elizabeth, hot tea with milk, lush countryside, a rich history and lots of rain. But it’s also the home of beautiful people in need of the gospel.   Though many people consider England just an extension of American culture, the missionaries UMHB deployed this summer quickly learned that going anywhere across the world provides a culture shock.   The Crusader team split into three groups, each stationed in a different part of Middlesbrough. Students lived with British families, living day to day life with their hosts. This provided a very real glimpse into English culture.   University Chaplain Dr. George Loutherback led his team to Nunthorpe, where they worked primarily in schools. This included performing skits and teaching the gospel.   Assistant Director of the Baptist Student Ministries Jena Coulson took a team to Eston, where they used soularium cards to generate spiritual conversation with locals.   Junior art education major Alana Filban went with Coulson’s team and will most remember the people she encountered.   She said, “I built a lot of long-lasting relationships and unexpectedly got close to members of my own team.”   Pastor Trey Bledsoe and alum Jake McGinnis worked with the last group stationed in Teasside, where they worked in the community and alongside Middlesbrough Community Church.   Though each group had their own assignment, the teams focused on loving every person they came in contact with — whether that was starting new relationships or building on old ones.   Senior nursing major Katherine Zuraitis has been on the trip three times with the MCC team.   She said, “When I first decided to go on the England mission trip, I did not entirely understand what we would be doing. Once I got there, I realized how important it was to the community.”   Because Dr. Loutherback has been taking teams across the ocean for several years now, UMHB has built relationships with the people there that continue to grow with each trip. So on the traditional sightseeing outing to York, the Americans got to bring some of their English friends for some tourism and laughs.   While in the quaint town, Crusaders enjoyed fish and chips, antique shopping and visits to the Cathedral.   Senior Christian Ministries major Dane Kemp was a first timer this summer. He has always wanted to go, but was surprised at how much the country impacted him.   He said, “The stories people told of God … were amazing…. It took almost no time for God to move in amazing ways, and I knew I wanted to go back the instant I...

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Cru Culture: New year, old stereotypes
Aug27

Cru Culture: New year, old stereotypes

It’s that joyful time of year again — the time that TV shows do specials on, commercials advertise for, and families look forward to. It’s a time when parents spend far too much money at Target, and what kids have dreams about.   No, I’m not talking about Christmas. I’m talking about the first week of school.   Though college is a bit different, one thing remains the same: I guarantee you’ve had a nightmare or two about getting lost on the way to class, then reverting to crying in the quad because you can’t find it. Or even showing up on time, but without one important thing — pants.  We’ve all had these horrible dreams about the transition from summer to another semester. But really, it’s never as bad as we make it.   Freshmen, you’re probably early to class, dressed in your best outfit with a spare bag of  pencils. In fact, I bet you didn’t sleep last night because of all the anticipation, huh? Extra kudos to you if you sought out your classroom prior to your first class. There should be extra credit for that. But there’s not, because you’re in college now.   Sorry.   Sophomores, you’re probably sitting in your first class, the syllabus printed out beforehand, with your phone hidden conspicuously under your desk. You know the rules and what’s required of you, and you’re just glad to be out of basic classes. Hello, degree plan.   Then there are the juniors coming in late because they know it’s just syllabus day. But they aren’t worried; they know you don’t need to bring anything — the professor will print it out if it’s that important.   Right?   Seniors won’t be in class at all. It’s syllabus week, and they know they can miss six classes and still pass. Let’s be real. They probably won’t show up most of the semester, and you  may not even know they exist until test time. Senioritis is a real thing, and there’s still no cure.   No matter where you are in your pursuit of your degree,  put your best foot forward  because you only have a few first days of school left. Here’s to a great semester.   Welcome home,...

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Cru Culture: social media
May06

Cru Culture: social media

THE BELLS — In today’s culture, the lives of celebrities are plastered on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, giving fans a glimpse into their favorite singer or actor’s life. But when James Franco texted a fan about meeting up at her hotel, many people criticized the openness social media today allows.   The 17-year-old girl and fan of Franco’s had attended Of Mice and Men, where she took a video of herself with the famous star in the background.   Franco asked her to tag him on Instagram, which started a direct conversation between him and the teenager.   The girl doubted the messages were coming from the Spring Breakers lead man, but he sent her several pictures of himself as well as his phone number.   Franco appeared on Live! With Kelly and Michael, where he admitted the scandal happened, but didn’t apologize to the girl or the public. He also tweeted that he hopes parents keep their teens away from him with an image he deleted directly after.   For socially-savvy college students, this scandal should raise some eyebrows. The world has come to accept the idea of 30-something adults pursuing young people around the age of 18.   Though the girl made the decision not to meet up with Franco, she was vague about her relationship status and age. Can we blame her? Should we blame her?   A lot of girls her age don’t have the maturity to think clearly in such a strange situation or understand the repercussions of sex. But sex with a Hollywood star? It just doesn’t seem like something that would ever happen in the real world.   But for anyone who uses social media, it could happen. If your favorite actor gave you his number, would you want to meet up with him?   Because most Crusaders are just a few years older than the fan involved, students need to be wary of what they say via social media. They also need to think about society’s view on age, sex and morality.   After the initial buzz of the scandal, the pop culture world realized Franco’s new movie, Palo Alto, features a relationship like the one he encouraged with the girl, and the messages the two exchanged were sent on April Fool’s. So could the stunt be promotion for a film, and should we as the general public be OK with this type of “advertising?”   Though everyone jokes about stalking their crushes or enemies on social media, it’s easy to forget how simple it is to scroll through someone’s Facebook wall or Twitter feed—thank you, James Franco, for reminding us...

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Students cut a rug at Spring Formal
May06

Students cut a rug at Spring Formal

THE BELLS — Under twinkling lights and the red and white striped big top, Spring Formal 2014 was a circus of activity.   First Year Council brought a carnival theme to life at Tenroc Ranch in Salado. Festivities included a bean bag toss on the patio, chocolate fountain, a striped canopy to dance under, an up-and-coming disk jockey and decorations to set the scene.   Freshman business major Lindsey Roberson is a member of the organization and the decorations committee. “The whole night was great; but one of my favorite parts was walking in before everyone got there and seeing how all of the decorations came together. Everything looked perfect,” she said.   As guests walked through the glass doors and received tickets, they proceeded into a colorfully decorated ballroom. The night progressed into snacking, photo booth pictures, playing  and dancing.   For FYC, the process started months ago when every member came up with a few ideas. Then they pooled their thoughts and voted for “Vintage Carnival.” The different planning committees worked for what they hoped would be a memorable night.   To raise money, FYC created Smash Bash, a stress-reducing opportunity to throw plates and cups against a wall for a small price. The Presser parking lot event was indeed a smash, and got the ball rolling to bring the circus to  students.     Roberson and her fellow freshmen worked hard all year to achieve the final product. She said, “During the semester, we spent our meetings dreaming up different ways to decorate the room, then coming up with ways to make them come to life — color schemes, table decorations, figuring out how to make a big top work in a room and stringing dozens of pennants from the ceiling.”   Sophomore engineering major Coty Johnson donned his disc jockey attire and mixed beats for the evening. Making his UMHB debut as DJ Kabal, Johnson wanted to bring new, fresh and upbeat music to students. “Based on the response I’ve gotten from a lot of people, I’d say it went very well. I played bass for my church youth band in high school, but it wasn’t until last semester that I started to DJ. It’s been a real blessing to take advantage of the opportunities I’ve had so far here,” he said.   FYC head leader and junior business management major Alec Lloyd wanted to see the students grow over the course of planning, preparing and executing their ideas for the event “I think the event went great, and it was cool to see it go from a concept to something real. All of the...

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Rare lunar eclipse leads to late night on campus
May06

Rare lunar eclipse leads to late night on campus

THE BELLS — At 2 a.m., Crusaders gathered their blankets and pulled on an extra pair of socks before venturing outside for the blood moon April 14.   On the chilly night, the earth moved in front of the sun while a shadow passed over the moon that blocked out a good portion of its light. The eerie sight provoked many religious figures to link the spectacle to the beginning of the end times. But for Crusaders, it was merely the beginning of the end of their sleep for the night.   Senior business systems major Chris Truitt photographed the eclipse. His videography experience allowed him to achieve a clear photo of the memorable occurrence. “I decided to watch the eclipse after hearing my girlfriend talk about it, and I also saw a few internet memes that were talking about it, so I decided to check it out,” he said. This first blood moon of the year marks a memorable tetrad of lunar eclipses that will occur over the next year and a half, which hasn’t happened in 10 years.   Truitt encountered some problems photographing it, but he wanted to document the occasion. He said, “Normally I shoot video, so this was a little different having to mess with the settings constantly to get a decent photo. To get the photo it wasn’t too difficult, though I had to use a technique I’ve never used before. In order to get enough light into the photo, I had to stop the shutter speed down extremely low. Any slight movement of the camera would have made a blurry photo.”   Sophomore business management major Troy Robinson realized how rare the night ahead of him would be, and decided to stay up. Though he had an 8 a.m. class the next morning, he doesn’t regret his decision. “It was actually really cool. It took a while for the moon to turn red, but when it did, it was an amazing sight,” he said.   While some people falsely thought the red moon was mars, the light of the sun penetrated the atmosphere and only red light escaped the atmosphere. The science behind the blood moon explains its name and gave watchers something to talk about while waiting for the lunar event to happen.   Senior computer science and chemistry major Zach Winfield explained the event further. “What makes this blood moon so interesting is that it is part one of four. This is the first lunar eclipse that will occur in 2014 and 2015. The four together are known as a tetrad,” he said.   If you missed this blood moon,...

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