Behind the characters of Mary, Jesus
May06

Behind the characters of Mary, Jesus

  It’s often hard for Christians to put into perspective the suffering that Christ endured when he was crucified.   The university’s Easter Pageant provides its audience with a visual representation of Christ’s sacrifice, but for those who are actually in the production, experiencing the crucifixion first-hand can be a life changing experience. That was the case for Karl Baker and Esther Gibbs, who played Jesus and Mary respectively in the 75th rendition of the annual pageant.   The roles of Jesus and Mary are hand selected by university president Dr. Randy O’Rear. Baker, who had played a temple guard in the previous two pageants, received a phone call last spring. Dr. O’Rear wanted to meet with him. During the meeting, the president selected Baker to play the role of Jesus. “I was really humbled and honored just to be put in that position,” Baker said. “We just talked, and I was excited, and he told me he’d be praying for me. It was neat to just create that relationship with him.”   Gibbs was a crowd person her sophomore year and was then chosen to be one of Mary’s mourners the following year. Gibbs had been searching for ways to show God through her life, and that came through her role in the pageant. “The year before I was asked, my prayer had been that during my last few years at UMHB, it would be God that would be seen through my actions, not me,” she said. “When Dr. O’Rear asked me, I was not expecting it, but I know it was nothing that I had done that made me be chosen. It was completely God.”   The two were each allowed to select a group of individuals whom they would rely on throughout the process – both in the pageant itself as well as behind the scenes. “I was able to choose seven girls to be mourners and discipled them throughout the year, and the time I spent with them was so precious,” Gibbs said.   Baker selected 12 disciples and spent time in fellowship with them throughout the year. “They’re all guys that I knew – some better than others — but they’re all guys who I saw as good leaders on this campus,” he said. “Since September, we met weekly at my house, so it was a neat way for us to become a group and for us to grow together.  We had an intramural flag football team and got third place, and that was awesome. Just having them around was incredible.”   While the experience was rewarding, both Gibbs and Baker were challenged by...

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Cru Culture: UMH “Baylor”
Apr15

Cru Culture: UMH “Baylor”

All Crusaders eventually come to a crossroad in their lives when they are given a choice: lie or tell the truth. The inevitable moment can determine a student’s future at the university and could even be an indication of how happy he or she will be over the next four years. Or five. Or six. The situation is unavoidable. It could occur at any time or place, with no warning. The pivotal moment in the life of a UMHB student is when a person with good intentions asks, “Oh, you go to Baylor?” The easy answer to this question is “Yes, yes I do. Sic ‘em.” While this answer avoids all awkwardness, it is, indeed, a lie. When Grandma innocently and sweetly asks you how you’re doing at Baylor, you don’t want to break it to her that she has her information wrong. Lying seems necessary, advisable even. Our green and gold neighbors in Waco don’t understand the grief we purple Baylor people go through. Don’t let this possible identity crisis scare you, though. You were dubbed a Crusader forever. You can’t let your school down, right? So instead, summon some bravery and give the true answer. All you have to say is, “Actually, I go to Mary Hardin-Baylor.” But, be warned. Something offensive will probably follow, though the person has no clue how much they are insulting everything you care about. He or she might naively ask you, “Oh, is that part of Baylor?” Everything inside of you will want to yell at this interrogator. You might even want to scream the school song in their face and throw up a “C” with dramatic pride. I won’t stop you from doing this, but remember, if they don’t know what UMHB is about, you could be jeopardizing everyone else’s reputation in your outburst. So, rein in the burning school pride and put on your best poker face. “No, actually, Mary Hardin-Baylor has its own history completely.” Then, educate this person. Let them have it. I suggest leading with, “Did you know Judge Baylor is actually buried on our campus?” Hopefully one day, people will ask Baylor students “Oh, so you go to Mary...

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Men’s volleyball set to attack
Apr02

Men’s volleyball set to attack

THE BELLS — Anyone who works out at Mayborn has heard the sound of loud music, shoes squeaking and volleyballs hitting the floor coming from the rec gym. What they may not know is those noises come from the men’s club volleyball team, which practices three times a week in preparation for future tournaments as an officially chartered squad. Aaron Jackson, Greg Applegate and TJ Greeson serve as captains. Jackson, a sophomore business major, has been playing the sport for four years. This school year, he has been working with the Student Organizations Office, fulfilling the necessary requirements and paperwork that clubs at UMHB must complete. Since the university doesn’t sponsor an official men’s team, they must compete as a club. “Volleyball in Central Texas is not a men’s sport,” Jackson said. “I felt like we really needed to get something started here…. It took a long time to get things going, but … it’s all happened fast.” The captains recruited a coach, several assistants and some players who know the sport. After try-outs, a team of 14 was selected. Most haven’t ever played volleyball at a high level, but they share an interest in the game. Clint Brown, a computer studies major and one of the seniors this semester, brings a powerful swing to the lineup, as well as some advice for new players. “I want to teach these guys to play in attack mode. They’re good athletes, but sometimes lack that ‘you’re not stopping me’ confidence. You can’t be timid on the court, especially when we match up against the 6’8 and 6’9 guys in tournaments,” he said. Tournaments are played all over Texas, but Jackson wants to cover all the basics before taking the team anywhere. Brown has seen vast improvements in the last few weeks. “We all came in awkward and quiet — no one really communicating, but the guys are starting to build some chemistry, and it makes the practices more enjoyable,” he said. Freshman exercise sport science major TJ Greeson knows the competition will be tough, so he wants to focus on the things that will better their chances. “We hope to create a team that works well with each other. Team chemistry is one of the most important parts of playing a sport. We also want to grow in the team’s skill and knowledge of volleyball,” he said. Though they’re all learning new positions, a few of the players have found their niche. Brown looks forward to hitting drills where he can demonstrate the skills he has developed. He said, “Without a doubt, it is my favorite aspect of the game. It’s...

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Passion: Bigger in Texas?
Feb25

Passion: Bigger in Texas?

Heaven welcoming 17 million new believers because of the zeal of the Jesus Generation—this is the possibility speaker and teacher Beth Moore proposed to the more than 17,000 young adults gathered at Passion 2014 in Houston, Texas. The Toyota Center, filled to the brim Feb. 14-15 for the first time in Passion history, brought worship, fellowship and teaching to young adults. Junior economics/marketing major Ryan Sewell returned to the event for the third time. He enjoys gathering his fellow Crusaders for a group picture each year. And because Texas students didn’t have to drive to Atlanta this year, more than 100 Crusaders and alumni attended. Senior nursing major Ali Dennis believes the university’s presence reflects its mission as a school. “It is encouraging to see so many of your peers at an event designed for godly growth. Not only do Crusaders get to grow together in the classroom and into our careers, we are also encouraged to grow together in The Lord,” she said. “Having such a strong presence at this event proves that students strive to live out this goal of UMHB.” Junior international business major Jonathan Kendall was one of those who wanted an encounter with God, so he decided to go to the conference for the first time. “After seeing many of my friends share about how The Lord moved in their hearts, I wanted to experience it for myself,” he said. This year’s lineup included regulars like creator Louie Giglio; pastor Judah Smith; speakers and authors Francis Chan and Beth Moore; artists Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Matt Redman, David Crowder, Kristen Stanfill and more. But joining the already impressive ranks of spiritual leaders was Hillsong, the Australian group that writes and performs almost all modern worship music. The group is practically the Justin Bieber of the Christian population. First timer to Passion and junior nursing major Kia Torres had her own fan girl moment when the band came on stage. The consensus among students was that this unforgettable worship gave them their own personal experience with Jesus. “My ultimate favorite moment was being led in worship by Hillsong United. It was absolutely incredible,” Torres said. Sewell believes that the most encouraging thing to a young adult’s faith is to gather with people of the same generation in praise because they understand the struggles of being a Christian in college. “I think that one thing I would tell everyone about it is that you must go to experience the worship of thousands of students your own age,” he said. Kendall appreciated the conviction with which every speaker communicated the gospel, and he wants to strive to...

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Cru Culture: Twitter
Feb25

Cru Culture: Twitter

It’s just a normal day on campus—a male student walks across the quad with his head down, engrossed in Twitter. Suddenly, an unofficial UMHB account pops up in his list of new followers, so he clicks on his latest activity and views the profile. The odd part of this story isn’t that UMHB does, indeed, have male students, but instead, it’s about what the student sees on the app that surprises him. He proceeds to read tweets that call out secret sins of university goers and offensive remarks about student leadership. These people are mentioned by name, though not with their Twitter handles. The student’s eyes narrow in disbelief, but he keeps reading because the statements are just that outrageous. It’s one of those “this is so disturbing, but I can’t look away” moments– like the Miley Cyrus twerking episode all over again. See no evil. Though such cases rarely happen at the university, this unfortunate trend has wreaked havoc in social circles on campus recently. First of all, does the owner of the scandalous account actually go to class?  Most Crusaders have enough homework or even a job to keep them busy for the rest of their college career. I barely have time to wash behind my ears, much less collect hundreds of pieces of gossip. A high maintenance account like this one would take a lot of effort to maintain. Ain’t nobody got time for that. One thing is certain: Whoever created the profile isn’t a nursing student. Also, the majority of social media accusations involved freshmen. The mysterious tweeter probably didn’t think about the fact he or she would be identified as a member of the class of 2017 as well—unless the person just hangs out with freshmen all the time and then airs their dirty laundry on the site, an even sadder situation. The fact is everyone loves a good piece of juicy gossip, but not at their own expense. Next time a fake UMHB account follows you, block...

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