Grammys bring gamut of emotions
Feb11

Grammys bring gamut of emotions

The 2014 Grammy Awards ceremony was definitely one for the books… Maybe even the same book that the AMA’s fell into. While Miley Cyrus wasn’t able to make it to the actual event (though she was spotted at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy gala), the planning committee seemed to prove that they didn’t really need her to make a statement. In fact, they seemed to do  a jaw-dropping job with the artists who did perform. We could start with the fact that Daft Punk won four Grammys – because we apparently time traveled back to the ‘90s – but that isn’t even the worst of it. Not even Lorde was the worst of the night after she got on stage to perform an interesting version of “Royals,” which won Song of the Year. It might have been the most awkward performance of the night. She needs to work on what she does with her arms next time she goes to such a big event. The Robot was out years ago. Theguardian.com actually described her as “angular.” Speaking of Lorde, what exactly was her BFF Taylor Swift doing for her performance of “All Too Well”? Last time I checked, pianos and head-banging didn’t exactly go together. And T-Swift killed it… not in a good way. Cringe-worthy moments. But not as cringe-worthy as Beyonce and Jay-Z’s performance to “Drunk In Love.” I think they realized they were both starting to become irrelevant and decided to do something to fix that. Maybe Beyonce got lessons from Miley, or maybe she is just trying to make up for the fact that her surprise, self-titled album release back in December wasn’t as surprising as she hoped it would be. But then, we never know the exact reasons for celebrities’ desperate attempts. Do you wanna play with magic? Katy Perry apparently does. Dressed in a witch outfit, she performed “Dark Horse.” This was one of the better and  more humorous numbers, complete with smoke and brooms used for dancing. One of the greater controversies of the show was that Queen Latifah wedded about 34 couples toward the end of the show. With Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Madonna and Mary Lambert singing “Same Love,” the couples of different ages and races, some gay and straight, were married at the Grammys. Of course they were married off-stage, so it wasn’t a big show for them, but it still caused quite a scene on social media. Viewers who had heard the news before the awards show were outraged that they would be doing such a thing. Once it was done, people couldn’t believe that they had gone through with it....

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Mineo raps, breaks the mold
Feb11

Mineo raps, breaks the mold

It wasn’t too long ago that Andy Mineo was rapping on the stage of Walton Chapel. He was coming off of the release of his album Heroes for Sale in April 2013. That night, UMHB was filled with as much bass as it was with Baptists. Mineo went off. And he never seems to stop. A lot of people were surprised when he independently sold 28,000 copies of Heroes for Sale, and that was in the first week. A Christian rapper listed on the Billboard 200? That’s a miracle, right? Sure, it is. Mineo wouldn’t argue that. Yet the release of his new EP Never Land proves that his music is here to move past the stereotypes of Christian rap being awful. 26,000 copies of Never Land sold in its debut week. Oh, and the EP can only be bought digitally.  It landed Mineo number 2 on the Billboard rap charts behind Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Grammy award-winning album, The Heist. Mineo, in an interview with MTV said, “Number two on the hip-hop charts? I’ll sit behind Macklemore after the Grammy performance and take #2; that’s cool.” Nothing, not even the ceiling, can hold Mineo down, though. That’s because he’s got bigger goals than topping charts, he told MTV. “… Numbers aren’t what we live for,” he said. “Numbers at the end of the day and charting is not what we’re here to do only. They just help tell the story.” Never Land is Mineo’s way of telling how success is unfulfilling. Lyrics to the song “Never Land ft. Marz” tell all: You know the rich and famous, kill they self to stay rich and famous. Very same thing they they built they name with, be the same thing they they be enslaved with. It’s a thought-provoking EP. At the same time, Never Land is unlike anything the secular or Christian world has seen from a rapper. It’s a coherent mix of Mineo’s NYC style of hip-hop, his Italian roots (check out the songs “Paisano’s Wylin” and “Paganini”), his progressive mindset toward Christian rap and his biblically based lyrics. Add to it that fact that Mineo collaborated with top-notch producers and artists, and it’s safe to say Never Land will be hot for a while. Mineo won’t settle, though. It’s like he proclaims on track three, “You can’t stop...

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Cru Culture: Winter wardrobe problems

Just a light jacket should be sufficient for Texas winter, right? Wrong. You are the weakest link. While the wishy-washy weather isn’t just a Crusader problem, appropriate attire for unpredictable days seems to be a prevalent issue on campus. You’ve all seen that girl wearing Nike shorts, gritting her teeth as another cold gust of wind threatens to knock her over. The better-bundled people glance knowingly at her, but never offer a coat or scarf. It’s not that far to class from Burt Hall anyway, right? Then there’s the guy dressed for an arctic blizzard wearing all camouflage, a face guard and heavy boots. When he clunks noisily into the classroom and releases a long breath of relief, you question if you somehow ended up in the wrong class. In Alaska. The opposite problem is when some guy struts in wearing a bro tank. Even if it’s 70 degrees outside, just the sight of those pale arms in the winter makes this whole scenario terrifying. The sleeveless shirt guy just can’t wait to show off the new guns he’s been working on as a New Year’s resolution. Not the bro tank—please, not the bro tank. At least not yet. The layered woman probably causes you a good deal of confusion as well. This student combines random articles of clothing from every season, time period and pattern to create a warm yet quite unfortunate attempt at braving Texas winter. It’s great to encourage thrift shopping, but unless Goodwill is paying you to be their own walking advertisement, matching is recommended. Then there’s the cold weather dirty little secret. To all those who wear pajama bottoms underneath jeans—sorry, but we can see the Spongebob Squarepants pattern peeking out the bottom hem of your pants. Supposing no one notices your denim fitting tighter and a little more awkward than normal, Nickelodeon nighttime attire always draws attention. If you couldn’t care less about fashion, the flannel jammies plus real pants combo sounds like a good solution, though. When you get out of class, just unzip the top layer and you’re ready for nap time. Comfortable and practical. Like Crocs… oh wait. Dressing accordingly can be exhausting, especially on one of those “I just got three hours of sleep, my socks don’t match and I think there’s a room check today,” days. But you don’t have to look like a model for J. Crew. Just avoid these sad Crusader scenarios, and you’ll be good to...

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‘Crazy Love’ challenges readers
Feb11

‘Crazy Love’ challenges readers

I received the book Crazy Love as an early Christmas present this year. It has just over 200 pages, and I thought I could knock this sucker out before my plane’s wheels landed in Des Moines. “That’s such a great book,” they said. “Francis Chan is amazing,” they said. I geared myself up with a cup of coffee and a serving of high expectations for what I was supposedly going to receive with the completion of this New York Times best seller. Not going to lie, the title of the first chapter, “Stop Praying” had me a little apprehensive, but I delved in nonetheless. Halfway through that chapter, Chan says, “It confuses us when loving God is hard.” I completely agree. We are commanded to love God with all our hearts, minds and being. But what comes next is kind of harsh. I think we can all agree that it can be tough to love our God the way He wants us to. We get distracted, and have to consistently remind ourselves to redirect our focus to where it belongs. Chan believes that when we love God because we feel we should, “we have forgotten who God really is.” Ouch. I disagree. People are in a different place in their spiritual walk, and who is Chan to say they have forgotten who God is? Let’s let Him be the judge of that, Chan. Sorry, not sorry. That’s about the pattern Crazy Love follows. Some heart-warming stuff, and then BAM! A guilt trip that makes your Super Bowl feast look like carrot sticks and celery. Chapter four is called “Profile of the Lukewarm.” I really don’t think I’ve felt so ashamed, and not going to lie, I was wondering if the person who gave me this book was trying to tell me something. Chan gives 17 descriptions of lukewarm people. Their lives are structured so they don’t have to live by faith. They have a savings account. The lukewarm think about life on earth more than eternity in heaven. They want to fit in both at church and outside of church. They give money when it doesn’t “impinge on their standard of living”. Often times we read books like these, scribbling down notes to craft our lives around the words on the paper. This one probably won’t give you many warm fuzzies, but it surely will make you evaluate the way you’re living out your faith. I say if you can handle some cold, hard truth, pick up a...

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Community members gather at Mayborn for annual Canstruction
Jan29

Community members gather at Mayborn for annual Canstruction

THE BELLS — Groups from across the community gathered in Mayborn Gymnasium Friday to construct monuments made from canned goods collected for charity. Saturday night the groups reconvened for a banquet.        

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FCA conference draws Cru athletes
Jan29

FCA conference draws Cru athletes

THE BELLS — The Cru Fellowship of Christian Athletes took a trip to Glen Rose, Texas, this past weekend. They weren’t looking for fossils but attending a college retreat that drew more than 500 Christian athletes from all across the state to take part in the fun-filled weekend of worship. “I had been looking forward to College Advance for a while now, ever since it was brought up in one of our weekly meetings,” senior physical therapy major Elijah Hudson said. “It seemed like such a great opportunity to get closer to the Lord.” The weekend consisted of silly games, plenty of food and, of course, praise and worship to give the athletes a break from their weekly routines. The speaker was Mikado Hinson, who is the athletic chaplain for the University of Houston. Mikado has met many athletes while being chaplain, and has become friends with a few names people might recognize. For Texans fans, Hinson and quarterback Case Keenum have a close friendship that grew strong while Keenum was playing for the Cougars. “I think he (Hinson) was the perfect speaker for the weekend. He made it clear that sports is just something we do, but our true calling is to serve our God in everything that we do,” Hudson said. Junior exercise sport science major Stanton Holland found the speaker to be very relatable and knowledgeable about the struggles of being a Christian athlete. “I have heard Mikado speak before, and he is awesome,” Holland said. “Everything that he talks about is completely relevant to what college athletes go through, and he also gave pointers on how to strengthen your walk with Christ.” The UMHB FCA group was just one of the very few small colleges that attended the retreat. “I didn’t really know what to expect going into the weekend. But when we got there, almost every big university from Texas was there it seemed like,” Holland said. The students arrived at Glen Rose around 7 p.m. on Saturday night and were kept busy until they left after lunch on Sunday. “I knew that it was going to be too busy, but when I got back, I was exhausted. It was worth it, though. I got a lot out of the weekend, and I would encourage everyone to try and make it to College Advance at least once,” Hudson said. Junior Christian studies major and FCA leader Taylor Irby hopes that this is just a kick-start to what will come for the UMHB FCA group. “I think this will light a fire underneath our group that went, and that group will impact the others,” Irby...

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