Cru Knights: Annual night of fun, laughter
Mar04

Cru Knights: Annual night of fun, laughter

The Crusader Knights contest was held earlier this month on Saturday, Feb. 21. Sophomore Austin Soto walked away with the crown and title of Mr. Crusader Knights after representing the sophomore class.   Crusader Knights is one of the many long-standing traditions that UMHB is known for. Not only is it fun for the student body, friends and family to watch, but it shows a great deal of character by the guys who participate along with the strong friendships they build through the weeks of practice.   This year was the event’s 22nd happening and it held up the 90s theme.   This brought back the 90s kids’ nostalgia with boy band music, the well-known in-sync dancing (not to be confused with popular boy band from the 90s known as N’Sync) and bubbly and colorful words. Everywhere.   While there was a lot going on stage, most of the important things took place behind the scenes. Soto, the winner of the contest, explained how being involved in Cru Knights had more of an impact on his life rather than just receiving a crown.   “…this was honestly so filling for me. I can’t express to you how awesome these guys were! They … poured out so much love. They acted as a true brotherhood and the coolest part is that we get to continue this brotherhood outside of Cru Knights,” Soto said.   Practices lasted for four weeks. During their practice time they would work on their dance numbers and learn how to have confidence in themselves. They also met in groups and did devotionals. This allowed the guys to connect on a deeper level.   While Soto made it look easy on stage, he had a rough time before practices started, but soon overcame his fears.   “Honestly once I heard I was selected to do Cru Knights I immediately questioned it. Being on stage and performing just isn’t my thing and I did not want to do this. Brandon Edwards, my roommate and also the Contestants Committee Head, really encouraged me to just give it a shot so I did,” he said. “After the first couple of practices, I was hooked. The guys were absolutely hilarious and loved Jesus so, so much and it was very evident. I had been longing for this type of community and there it was.”   Seth Michaelson also participated in Cru Knights this year. He represented the Campus Activities Board after adviser Jeff Sutton recommended it to him.   While Michaelson had a lot of fun during the weeks prior to the event, his main purpose was wanting to build more...

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Bush’s appearance a historic event
Feb18

Bush’s appearance a historic event

By Rachel Berman   America’s 43rd president, George W. Bush, visited the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as part of the McLane Lecture on Feb. 11. The ticketed event was primarily for the students, faculty, and staff of UMHB, although many benefactors received VIP seating for the lecture.   “I was excited to go to George Bush’s lecture and it turned out even better than I expected,” senior Seth Strickland said. “He is a man of value and integrity and he is just a down-to-earth person.”   The event began with Bush receiving an honorary doctor ate of humanities degree from the president of UMHB, Randy O’Rear. Then the former president began his lecture, in which he talked about leadership, his presidency, and then engaged the crowd in a Question and Answer session.   Senior Erin Buerschinger enjoyed the part of Bush talk about his successes and failures, when he told the audience that being a good leader means one should “share credit and take blame.”   Buerschinger said, “I felt like that comment showed true character and a definite polarization between Bush and our current administration.”   “I think the lecture was a great perspective on his leadership style and decision making process,” said sophomore Ishmael Pulczinski. “I think the lecture reinforced my belief that George W. Bush is a man who made decisions based on the right thing to do, not for crowd approval, and is a leader who is humble in his successes and failures.”   Reporters from news stations such as KWTX-TV, the local CBS affiliate in Waco and KCEN-TV, the area’s NBC affiliate, reported on the lecture.   After the talk was over, the more than 2,800 people in attendance filed out. Some were stopped by reporters and appeared during prime time on TV commenting on their experience.   Bush’s visit to campus left students and staff inspired and feeling as though they had witnessed a part of history.   “The chance to see former President George W. Bush speak was such a wonderful opportunity and certainly a historic event for the UMHB community,” alumna Katherine Booth said. “His lecture was relevant, inspirational and humorous. I really enjoyed everything he had to...

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‘Sader serves local ministry strokes of genius
Oct23

‘Sader serves local ministry strokes of genius

Stoke by stroke, the artist layers rich colors of paint on a massive wall. Alternating between sitting, standing and climbing a ladder, he works for hours at a time on a mural of Jesus flanked by his followers.   Sophomore graphic design major Edgar Ortiz embarked on a daunting creative mission after being chosen by Hershall Seals, chairperson of the art department at the university.   “Dr. Chuck Taylor … former UMHB faculty member and volunteer for Christians Touching Lives for Christ called me … to consider re-designing the old mural,” Seals said.   Taylor presented a challenge: Creating a life-like depiction of Christ on the wall of CTLFC, a local food and clothing bank located in Temple.   The organization wanted a visual representation of their group’s mission and decided to commission a talented, local artist. They then decided an image of Jesus helping others would effectively convey their own purpose, as well allude to the faith behind their cause.   Seals said, “Edgar Ortiz made his talents known his freshman year, so his talent and proven work ethic made him an ideal artist for the mural.”   After being selected by administration, Ortiz followed the requirements set before him, choosing an existing work to model his own after, and taking the wisdom of Seals to heart.   “We collaborated on a design … and worked together one evening to draw it on the wall, and Edgar took it from there,” Seals said.   By adding more dimensions, changing the background and elongating the piece to fit his work space, Ortiz made the painting his own. And though he didn’t choose the subject matter himself, he effectively expressed his own taste through the work.   “I did have freedom in what style I wanted to paint it. I’ve always liked to be as accurate and realistic as I can, but have also liked to use lots of color, with dark shades,” Ortiz said. “Although I painted another painting, I still had lots of fun in challenging myself to make my own version of an already-excellent painting. I learned a lot by looking at the colors in the original work and how they were used.”   Ortiz began the project this summer and continued to work throughout the semester when he wasn’t attending class or working.   After a total of 15 days consisting of three to eight hours each, the Bible story came to life.   The 80 hours of work paid off, and Ortiz expressed his happiness with the product.   “The most difficult part of the painting was getting the right colors for the faces and...

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Peace or persecution?
Oct13

Peace or persecution?

During wartime periods in U.S. history, it is tempting for Americans —Christian and non-Christian alike — to tire of conflict. The unfortunate reality is we must continue to wage war against those lifestyles violently opposed to ours so we don’t have to sustain the same bloodshed here in our homeland.   Christians are called by Christ to be peacemakers, not pacifists as some suggest. Sometimes, the way to make peace is to first make war.   What confuses well-meaning practitioners of the faith is the misinterpretation of scripture. Historically, those who advocate against war cite Exodus 20:13, the sixth commandment which reads in most translations, “Thou shalt not kill.”   The original word in the ancient Hebrew for “kill” was “trə•ṣāḥ,” which means “murder.” There is a fundamental difference between killing in defense of self or others versus murdering someone in cold blood.   Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson received criticism from some Christians after expressing support for war against radical Islamists.   He said, “Convert them or kill them…. It’s not like a country with a standing army, and we line up and do battle … we’re going to have to deal with this group way more harshly than we have….”   Proponents of radical Islam are on an admitted mission either to convert or kill infidels (unbelievers) while pointing to passages in the Quran.   Quran 8:12 says, “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”   Some argue Robertson made his comments in direct response to the very real jihadist threat, which is even harsher. If jihadists come here or to any other country with the intent to convert or kill, why would Christians not have the right and responsibility to protect themselves and others?   Also intriguing is the idea that this Quranic verse might be the motivation for the recent beheadings of the American journalists and European government workers by ISIL. How about the ISIL sympathizer who hacked off an unsuspecting woman’s head in her Moore, Okla., office?   Should we lie down and say we’re against war because God is love while innocent people are dying at the hands of Islamic extremists? The motivation for war is not the pleasure of killing, but bringing an end to the murder of innocent people.   Justice in this situation is not the absence of death but the prevention of needless death. The irony is not that Christians would want to kill, but that some would sit by while the precious lives of fellow Christ followers and those of moderate Muslims...

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One nation, under Jihad: The Bells on the Islamic State
Oct13

One nation, under Jihad: The Bells on the Islamic State

America under fire   AK-47 bullets ricochet off the metal framework of a once-bright, red merry-go-around. A five-year-old boy scrambles from its bars, trapped by the dissonance of war. His memory flashes to the joys of recess and freedom, before breathing his last breath.   Sound like far-fetched fear-mongering? Ask Israel. Radical Islam never rests.   Old enemy, new face   Talks of ISIS, ISIL and the quest for an Islamic State are on the minds of most Americans. And if you think the West is safe from their reach, you’re wrong.   ISIL (the Islamic State in the Levant), as we’ll refer to them from here on out, is no new enemy, and they’ve hurt us before.   In 2010, “Caliph Ibrahim,” under the nom de guerre of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, asserted himself as leader of ISIL.   ISIL found fertile soil for harvesting a new caliphate when America withdrew.   The group’s origins flashback to the Second Gulf War in 2003. With Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in disarray and al-Qaida on the run, the United States conceded a major victory against her terrorist foes.   But radical Islam is a bacteria, and when the U.S. pulled out in 2011, it was like failing to finish a medication — the enemy came back harder and more determined than ever.   ISIL spun off of al-Qaida, but its atrocities proved so horrendous, even ravenous members of al-Qaida reprimanded its actions.   A coming caliphate?   ISIL has called for radical Muslims worldwide to join them in their quest to create a caliphate, or Islamic State.   They adhere to a convert or die world view. Enemies like ISIL, Hamas and Boko Haram, a group declaring its own caliphate over Nigeria, push for a world governed by Sharia law.   Even at home, our own countrymen fight for jihad. Some estimates suppose as many as 300 Americans now wave the black flag of ISIL.   In his new book, Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore, Jay Sekulow wrote, “America must commit to destroying ISIS, not just ‘managing’ it or limiting its influence.”   He suggests we work together with our “true allies” to defeat ISIL.   All opposed to this jihad, whether Shiite Muslim, Orthodox Christian, Yazidi or Sephardic Jew, must intercept this threat. The United States and other Western nations should provide arms to forces like the Pershmerga, Kurdish fighters opposing ISIL in northern Iraq.   A coalition drives us all together to win this war.   United, we [all]...

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U.S. Responds
Oct13

U.S. Responds

President Obama may have brought home all the ground troops from Iraq, but make no mistake, the war in the Middle East continues. Islamic extremists have reared their heads in the form of another terrorism group: ISIL.   How has the United States been combating this new threat? Since early August, the U.S. has been carrying out airstrikes against the group in Iraq. In retaliation, ISIL began beheading people and videoing the acts.   In late September, the U.S. teamed up with a handful of ally nations and began airstrikes in Syria with the U.S. and Great Britain doing the brunt of the work … again. Obama made it clear that air attacks are the sole strategy we will employ for combatting ISIL. But the question lingers — is it enough?   According to the White House, no troops will return to Iraq, and the president said he will not allow us to be dragged into another Iraq-style war. While these words are reassuring to many citizens of a nation that has grown tired of the never-ending war against terrorism, which has claimed the lives of thousands of troops, others argue airstrikes alone will not be enough.   Initially, it makes sense to launch strategically–pointed attacks by air against ISIL because we obviously have a distinct military advantage in the sky. But this tactic will likely drive the militants into hiding, where they will stay and plot until we leave, at which point they will reemerge to continue acts of ruthless violence.   ISIL is radical. To defeat an opponent so brutally dedicated and loyal, one must resort to radical measures. I’m just not sure that airstrikes will be enough to finish the job.   A former senior British general said ISIL could not be defeated without sending ground soldiers to finish what the airstrikes have begun.   Obama doesn’t want another Iraq war. Well, ISIL is not like al-Qaida in the way they present themselves. They have tanks, artillery, wealth and troops who form up in rank.   They don’t operate out of caves. They are an army. And to defeat an army, we must make them face the greatest army in the...

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