Trick or treating is innocent fun
Oct27

Trick or treating is innocent fun

It is OK for parents to take their children trick-or-treating even when they claim to be Christians. I also think it is fine for adults to enjoy the holiday as well. Halloween has a bad reputation among many Christians because its past is rooted in paganism. According to History.com, the holiday originated from the Celts, 2,000 years ago and celebrated their new year on Nov. 1. On the night Oct. 31, they celebrated Samhain. It was believed that on Samhain the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, the Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins and attempted to tell each others’ fortunes. Today, Halloween is a celebration made for children. It is also a portal for adults to revert back to child-like mentalities with costumes, candy and games. It is alright for a child or adult to enjoy dressing in costume, digging into candy and enjoying wholesome fun with friends and family without the demonic traditions present. It is all based on the individual perception of the holiday. Many churches also have fall festivals for families. Children dress in costumes, play games and receive treats. There’s no difference between that and trick or treating. As long as the costumes are kept non-gory, it is the same thing. Times have changed from the Celts 2,000 years ago. Trick or treating on Halloween is an American tradition. People do not look at a little girl dressed as Tinkerbell or a little boy suited up as Spider Man carrying their tiny pillowcases full of candy and think, where are the animal heads they need for their animal sacrifice? People see innocent children having innocent...

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Family military tradition runs strong
Oct27

Family military tradition runs strong

Junior nursing major Ashley Hibbard is not the average woman. The U.S. military runs thick in her blood. She spent her summer field training as a cadet in the Air Force ROTC, sleeping in a tent and shooting M9 and M16 rifles. “I couldn’t imagine not being around the military. I grew up around it,” Hibbard said. “The military has great benefits and is an opportunity to meet great people. It’s a different life than civilian life.” Her mother and father were also in the military. “I am a retired major from the Air Force,” Carol Hibbard said. “I was in the Air Force for 23 years. My husband was in the Army for two years when he was drafted in the Vietnam War. After returning, he got his degree in airport management.” Her sister Nicole Musshorn is currently on active duty stationed in Las Vegas. “I am a 2nd Lieutenant labor and delivery nurse for the Air Force,” Musshorn said. “My husband is a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force.” Carol Hibbard is thrilled with both of her daughters’ decisions to become nurses and officers. “My girls and I have the same commitment and loyalty. I am so proud of my daughters.” Carol Hibbard said. Ashley Hibbard was given a nursing scholarship from the Air Force after she was accepted into the nursing program at UMHB. “I received a full ride,” she said. “I also received $800 in books and a stipend twice a month for about $325. The Air Force pays for everything because they want me to focus on school.” However, the benefits come with a price; Hibbard must give her time and energy back to the military. “ROTC stands for Reserved Officer Training School,” she said. “I am in the program at Baylor University. I’m basically in the Reserve for four years. This past summer … I went to field training for 28 days.” This adventure was demanding for Hibbard. “We learned marching, Air Force knowledge and commands,” she said. “They yell at you all the time and never praise you for anything. Then we went to CFJFTC, where we trained for mock deployment. We were in Mississippi. I don’t even know where I was exactly in Mississippi, they just told us to get on the plane.” The cadets participated in 10 hours of combative training at camp. “We had to qualify on a M9 and be familiar with an M16,” Hibbard said. “We trained in different roles each day between security forces, medical and personnel. We went through all the branches and being commanded in them.” The officers in training were taken by surprise....

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Homemade film turns into horror hit at box office

Also by Lauren Piercey It’s like Ghost Hunters on steroids and for some reason way creepier. What started out as a homemade film has spread across the nation. After more than a million demands by movie enthusiasts Paranormal Activity is now being shown nationally. Writer-director Oren Peli filmed the movie in his home during a seven-day sprint in 2006 with a crew of three, who included co-producers Toni Taylor, Peli’s then girlfriend, and Amir Zbeda, one of the filmmaker’s best friends. Starring actors Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat as a young, middle class couple who move into what seems like a typical suburban “starter” tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be demonic but is certainly active in the middle of the night, especially when they sleep. Micah decides to set up a video camera in the couple’s bedroom while they are sleeping. What is captured on the video tape is disturbing. After seeking outside help, the couple is left alone to fight the demonic presence and the disturbances only become more powerful. He submitted Paranormal Activity to Screamfest, a boutique festival for homemade horror. The film quickly took notice among viewers and was later picked up by Paramount Pictures. Peli wanted to make his audience afraid to do something that they do everyday. “One of the things I wanted to do was create something that people could say defined horror for their generation,” Peli wrote on his Web site, “the way after Psycho people said they would never take another shower; after Jaws and Open Water that they would never again swim in the ocean; and after Blair Witch that they would never again go camping in the woods. I figured, well, sleeping at home is something you can’t really avoid. So if I can make people scared of being at home, Paranormal Activity might do something.” The film is a must-see for horror fans everywhere, even if they will be sleeping with a light on in their bedroom after viewing it. Paranormal Activity is rated R for...

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Blog: Why Halloween is Fabulous

I love the month of October is wonderful.  Reasons  all pertain to Halloween.  Halloween is a month long celebration. Once I walk into Wal-Mart and see the trick-or-treat section set-up, I’m ready to celebrate. The popcorn balls, caramel apples and pumpkins bring an overwhelming excitement. I then begin to search the Internet and the local Halloween costume stores for the perfect costume. However, for the past three years, I have gone as Goldie Locks. Still, I enjoy rummaging through the colorful outfits, sequined tops and humorous masks. Maybe I will find an outfit worth spending my hard earned money on; not that I think a Goldie Locks costume was worth spending money on but I needed one for a party and it was decently priced. Another favorite Halloween tradition of mine is watching, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. The childhood classic airs on ABC every year the Tuesday before Halloween. Linus is so cute, sitting in the pumpkin patch just waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. While watching the movie, I like to drink apple cider and roast pumpkin seeds. Which, I usually have after gutting my pumpkin for carving. I carve the same classic pumpkin face every year; it will never get old to...

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From heartstrings to bookshelves
Oct13

From heartstrings to bookshelves

At the young age of 33, novelist LaKeshia Sauls has taken life by storm. She is a full-time student, full-time writer and mother of a 3-year old daughter. Sauls was offered a double book deal by Kensington/Urban Book’s publishing in 2005. The national bestselling author is now hard at work on her third novel. “My first novel is entitled By the Grace of God and the second, His Grace, His Mercy, both Christian fiction novels,” Sauls said. His Grace, His Mercy was released Sept. 1 and is a follow-up to By the Grace of God.” Her first book is about the hardships life can bring and how God walks people through them. “The main character, Gracie, comes home to find her fiancé packing,” Sauls said. “She decides to let him go, and, over time, she wants closure. So when she tries to contact him, she finds that his phone has been disconnected. Gracie contacts his family, and they have not heard from him either. She then realizes there’s more to the situation than him leaving her.” The writer said the Lord gave her the inspiration for her story. “I had a good book but it compromised my Christian values with curse words because I thought that was what people would want to read,” Sauls said. “I lost the whole manuscript, and I took it as a sign from God telling me not to compromise.” Mary Cannon, a former UMHB student, said she recently purchased Sauls’ latest book because she loved the first one. Cannon and Sauls met through an English class at the university. “She is an inspiration for young women,” Cannon said. “She shows ladies that they can do what they want to do.” Sauls wants her stories to affect the lives of her readers in a positive way. “I’m a black woman, and the urban Christian genre is really growing for African- Americans,” she said. “It’s to entertain and to inspire.” The novelist obtained an associate’s degree in applied science and had a career in computer networking. She began to realize that her true love and passion was writing so she decided to go back to college. “I was looking for a school with a great mass communication/journalism program in the area, and I also wanted God as my focal point,” Sauls said. “UMHB was the perfect fit for me.” Many professors have made a lasting marks on Sauls’ life. “Mrs. Kendig’s class has advanced my writing.” she said. “I want to try my hand at non-fiction and I also want to try magazine writing. I’ve also taken film study classes with Dr. Howard. I was scared...

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