Churches cope with fire

The criminal investigation is ongoing for the Jan. 19 arson of First Baptist Church Temple. First Baptist is just one of eleven church arsons since the beginning of the year. Jason Robert Bourque and Daniel George McAllister were charged with the arson of Dover Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas, in February. The duo may have also been involved with up to nine other church fires, but they are not suspected in the Temple fire. Another church, Community of the Servant-Savior Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas, was set ablaze April 8. The fire left only piles of rubble. Many wonder who would burn down places of worship and why. UMHB Professor of psychology Cecilia Erlund said, “That’s probably not somebody’s first attempt at something. It has probably progressed over time.” Arsonists usually begin with creating small fires, and then later move forward to bigger, more harmful ventures. “Someone who is attacking just a building, if that’s all it is, is looking at the excitement, looking at the power they may have had to do something, — even if it’s anonymous, — that brings out a number of police cars, sirens and fire trucks,” Erlund said. Perpetrators of arson enjoy having “power over an entire community,” she said. “They sit back and watch.” And while Erlund said, “there are a lot of things that happen that cause people to do this,” a few common denominators usually appear. She said, “Anytime you see somebody who had lost a lot, like losing a parent or a close friend or the divorce of parents — anything that disrupts the normal day-to- day life of a child who may not be very secure in the fi rst place — that child needs to be paid attention to.” Erlund stressed the importance of not creating a “self-fulfi lling prophecy,” but that caring and extra attention should be given by a community of people in positive ways. Student serves in local church. Sophomore church music major Nick Arbuckle leads worship for the contemporary service at First Baptist Temple. He remembers getting a call about 7 a.m. telling him the sanctuary had been destroyed. Arbuckle said, “My initial response was shocked kind of, you know, I didn’t really understand exactly what that meant. ‘OK, the sanctuary burned down. So now what? What happens this Sunday because we still have to do it?’” While the church members plan to rebuild, Arbuckle said “I don’t know what would motivate someone.” FBC might have been targeted because it’s a central point of downtown. He said “If you were going to choose Temple, Texas, you would choose that one because it’s such...

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Neuman says farewell to school she loves

If I could have magically told my freshman self how fast college was going to fly by, I might not have believed it – even coming from my own lips. I don’t think I would have believed how much I would “grow up” either. I can still remember crying (sometimes secretly, sometimes not so secretly) nearly every time I called home. Being three and half hours’ drive away was hard. I am so thankful difficulties like that have stretched me, challenged me to know why I believe what I believe, and have given me loads of fun and new friends along the way. In just a few short days, I will be crying that I have to leave this place. The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is truly special. Not too long ago, I was walking through the Quad and had one of those “flood of memories” moments. I remembered the first time I got a tour of the campus. I remembered the first day of Welcome Week when my parents drove away, leaving me in a dorm room full of half-unpacked brown boxes. I remembered putting off homework to play intramural flag football games (Go Fightin’ Mongeeses!). I thought about the time my roommate and I made a snowman, Lil’ Jack, from the ice shavings in our mini-fridge. I remembered being freaked out by the first round of finals, and making a gazillion note cards for a biology test. I remembered eating sandwiches for lunch in Hardy almost every day, and being so excited when my roomie and I got to move into Huckins our sophomore year. I remember some of my biggest fears that now seem silly – like Did I choose the right major? Does so-and-so notice me? How am I going to get all this homework done? Did I take on too many tasks? My advice to my fellow Crusaders who still have time to serve: Activities are good. Get plugged in to something you love and that keeps you busy (if you let yourself get bored too much, you’ll feel lonely). Meet lots of people, and remember to take the time to build close relationships with an inner circle. When your freshman-year crush doesn’t ever ask you out, don’t worry! Though it may feel like everyone’s getting a ring, not everyone is. Waiting for God’s timing is worth it. Too much procrastination can hurt your brain and your heart. Find the balance in your schedule – between scholarship and recreation. Enjoy it! My mom once told me that college was one of the most fun chapters of life. They say time flies when you’re having...

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Cru golfers swing for final season wins
Apr13

Cru golfers swing for final season wins

The Lady Cru golfers were proud to finish fourth place at the Southwestern Invitational March 29-30 even though the tournament shortened their spring vacationing. Women’s golf head coach and compliance coordinator Darla Kirby said the six-woman team enjoys traveling together. “As long as we go somewhere where they can buy a T-shirt and take pictures, they’re all very happy,” she said. Senior Christi Williams tied for 12th place with an 85-91=176 at the Southwestern Invitational. But she wants to bring home more than just a T-shirt from tournaments. Her resilience was put to the test after two shoulder surgeries during her college career. One was a total reconstruction, which included five screws. Williams determinedly returned to the game. Kirby can remember recruiting Williams from high school. She described her as consistent and remembers Williams always wore a lucky red cap at tournaments. “Everything I saw in high school, I saw here,” Kirby said. “She’s been a tremendous part of the team.” Williams said she turned down two full-ride scholarships to other colleges to come to Mary Hardin-Baylor. “I don’t regret it,” she said. Williams has little to be disappointed about. She was named all conference and all region, and all American academic her freshman year. It also proved to be an exciting season when Williams won her first college tournament. Senior Courtney Nelson posted the top individual finish for the team and tied for 10th place at the Southwestern Invitational. She also shot her first round in the 70s earlier in the year at the Ladies Bulldog Classic. Kirby describes Nelson as a “hard worker” and said, “She’s found her niche here.” Nelson agrees. “This team has bonded more than I think any team in high school,” she said. Graduate student and golfer Mallory McAdams is a regular on the basketball court, playing four seasons with the Lady Cru, but sometimes filled in for Kirby on the green. This year, she decided to play both sports. For McAdams, the highlight of the season was placing second in the Lady Comet Invitational. “It was good because I relaxed, and I enjoyed it,” McAdams said. She admits it is sometimes difficult to play two college sports, especially when seasons overlap. “As soon as one’s over, I go to the next,” she said. The Cru are looking forward to the ASC and want to finish their last season playing college golf by advancing to nationals. Williams said, “There’s no other way to go out. (We) want to go out on top.” Men’s head golf coach Aaron Rodeffer describes senior Garrison Nordt as “transparent.” Rodeffer said, “He’s going to let you know what...

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Student loan overhaul doesn’t quite cut it

If you’re like the majority of college students, at graduation, you will be handed more than a pretty piece of paper with calligraphy writing on it. According to the Project on Student Debt, in 2008 the average college senior had $23,300 in debt. In a lagging economy, graduating seniors will carry more than job search woes. Being a conservative voter, I often find myself shuddering when I hear anything on the news that sounds like big government takeover. But the news about the government’s student loan overhaul hardly made headlines. It was packed quietly in the health care bill. So, while Independents, Republicans and Democrats alike bickered on national television about what the health care bill would destroy or construct, provide or deny, college students (like you and I) were likely flipping the channel. Why? The news was too confusing, too complicated or too irritating. Most of the nation ignored the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act during the heated talk about health care. This piece of legislation was passed with little to no deliberation. It was “small” in the shadow of the overall bill, which clogged our House and Senate for months. Coming at the topic as if I were just a student with loans without a political predisposition, here are the facts. Pros (according to supporters of the bill): – The government gets to cut out the middlemen (banks) between the students and their funding. – It’s supposed to save $60 billion within the next 10 years. That money will go to support Pell Grants. With more Pell Grants (which don’t have to be paid back) more low-income students will receive financial aid for college. – It’s supposed to be easier for students to repay their loans. The cap for payment will be dropped to 10 percent of a students’ income (a 5 percent drop from the old system). Repayment should be less confusing. – Some banks will still get “federal contracts” to service the student loans, according to the National Review. – Private loans will still be available for students, but they will be significantly weakened by the legislation. Cons (according to naysayers): – Cutting out the middlemen of private financial institutions puts the government in charge. (If the government can’t run the post office, how can it possibly be responsible with student loans?) – Stafford loans are eliminated. The funds will come directly from the government. – Thousands of other bank employees could lose their jobs. An estimated 8,500 Sallie Mae employees (1/3 of its employees) will be let go due to the loss of business. – Schools used to choose the lender (whether private...

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In eHarmony with singleness

There are misconceptions about meeting people online. Why is it OK for people to choose their “friends” on Facebook and let mere acquaintances see some of the deepest “notes” of their life, but if a person joins a networking site for the sake of romantic relationships where their “matches” are chosen for them, suddenly a line has been crossed? I am what many people call “hardcore” about convictions. I recently joined eHarmony. Some would call me crazy. But somewhere in my ambition and zeal for “waiting on the Lord,” I realized that I was doing the same things over and over and expecting different results, the real definition of “crazy.” I have been “out” a couple times, but never dated. I came to UMHB not only for the academics and the Christian environment; I’d venture to say (with a smile) the slick, purple brochures mailed to my house when I was in high school are partly to blame. I can remember one in particular that said, “Why go to a Christian college?” and one of its main reasons was to find a Christian spouse. What a zinger. And that’s how many girls picture their college career. I won’t lie for the rest of the female student population. Most of us would like to double major – one of those being the “MRS” degree. I would like to preface my story about deciding to join eHarmony with this: I have reached the place of content in my singleness. I used to get into long discussions with my previous, now-married roommate about how God brings relationships to a deeper level when the couple brings more glory to Him together than when they’re apart. With another friend, I would try to dissect Paul’s words when he said, “It is better not to marry.” We’d often wonder if he knew what in the world he was talking about. Then, there’s always parental advice. “God won’t give you an idol to replace Him,” my mom would tell me. So, it took a while, and I’m not even saying I’ve got it all nailed down, but I began to realize my prolonged singleness was, in fact, what drew me closer into the presence of God more than anything else. I found myself truly craving time in the Bible and waking up with His name on my lips. I prayed, God, if my singleness is what keeps drawing me back to You and keeps me depending on You, bringing us closer, I’m going to stop asking You to take it away. It is a gift. I accept Your gift. Then, I knew. It wasn’t that, “Oh, I’ve learned the lesson....

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