‘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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Rebound from disaster inspires art
Jan29

Rebound from disaster inspires art

THE BELLS — Out of the wreckage of a city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina comes a new collection from artist John Barnes Jr.  The solo exhibition, Eschatology, is on display in the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts until Feb. 5.  Barnes uses scorched wood and mixed media from the rebuilding of New Orleans to create a mood of sinking ships, urban youth and the struggle to survive and dwell after disaster. “Eschatology has to do with end times, the ultimate destiny of humankind. These works emulate my ideas concerning the… aggregate decrepitude… of the new New Orleans,” Barnes said. Having survived the disaster, Barnes had much to say about the crisis while working through his own creative and personal issues. “Art is about being honest…. My last collection I was just making cool stuff because, let’s face it,… it was cool stuff. I had to grow up.  I’m still dealing with my past.” Barnes kept his collection on a small scale: most works are no larger than 30 inches. The sculptures look like a hybrid of the hull of a sinking canoe and a shotgun-style home typical of New Orleans. The dwellings were painted in graffiti style with phrases like “Looters will be shot” and “Whitness,” a play on words alluding to the idea that if people from certain neighborhoods reported to the police, they could lose their credibility and would be shot. Barnes does not just tell the story of a city battered by nature, but the demolition that came afterward as residents fought to endure. The collection speaks of a society forgotten by government: a post-apocalyptic world. The artist presented a gallery talk to students and faculty  Jan. 14 in the Baugh Center. He told students to be honest with their art. They should be able to speak at length about anything they create. “In your work, you should be able to explain every mark you make. You should be able to talk about it for days.” Barnes said. He encouraged students not  to be afraid to take risks and that insecurity is vital to the artistic process. “Uncertainty is where you get the juice. If you’re approaching your work with certainty, then you’re just seeking acceptance. You can get really good at one thing. You can be the best metal worker around, but you won’t be able to explain the human experience.” Students who attended the lecture took away insights on using creativity and form to speak about social issues. “I enjoyed how he was able to capture so many different ideas about subjects like poverty with one simple shape,” senior psychology major Kelsey Knowles...

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Texas Navy SEAL’s story hits big screen
Jan29

Texas Navy SEAL’s story hits big screen

THE BELLS — 2013. What a great year for the movie industry. And what better way to end the year than with an action-packed war movie? Although it was one of the last movies to come out last year, Lone Survivor really made an impact on those who were willing to see this true story-turned-book-turned-movie. UMHB students gathered  at Grand Avenue theater Jan. 16 for a CAB event letting students in for free with their Cru Cards. The theater in which Lone Survivor played was completely filled. Director Peter Berg wrote the movie script after spending a month in Iraq with a group of Navy SEALS. Berg wanted to film sooner, but Universal Studios asked him to direct Battleship first. Marcus Luttrell, who also made a small appearance in the movie, wrote the book about his experiences going into Afghanistan on a mission to bring down a terrorist leader and being ambushed. He fought to stay alive and to save his brothers, but ended up watching them die during that fatal task. Hence the title Lone Survivor. Luttrell has spoken at numerous places around America, including UMHB’s McLane Lecture on March 31, 2011. He talked about his experiences in Afghanistan. Mark Wahlberg said he had never played a role like this, but took the audience by surprise by portraying the main character, Luttrell. It was an incredibly difficult and dramatic role, but he nailed it. The book and movie are amazing portrayals of the brotherhood the men formed during training. If you’re not a fan of dramatic movies, Lone Survivor is not for you. You also might want to rethink seeing this if you’re not into loud gunshots, grenades or bombs. Maybe even wait until it’s released on DVD so you can watch it in your living room with the lights on and the volume turned down really low. It’s almost an understatement to say Berg really did bring this movie to life. If you’re a war movie fanatic and have yet to see the movie, you’re definitely missing something. Don’t wait to see this when it comes out on DVD – it’s worth seeing on the big screen. This movie isn’t for the fainthearted. If you are in the mood for a tear-jerking movie and if you can look past the cursing and noise, you won’t regret seeing Lone...

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Hogan recital teaches students, glorifies God
Jan29

Hogan recital teaches students, glorifies God

THE BELLS — Penny Hogan gazes softly into the distance while the piano and clarinet elegantly set the scene of a maiden preparing to begin a journey to find joy after having endured deep grief. Vibrato spins off her lips and fills the room. Raw emotion on her face depicts the German piece by Schubert. George Hogan takes the stage next and is warmly welcomed by a cheering, supportive audience. His deep, bass voice passionately sings Ella giammai m’amo by Verdi, a story of a heartbroken man, in perfectly enunciated Latin. At Hughes Recital Hall on Jan. 21, Penny and George Hogan, assistant professors of music, performed an operatic recital before an audience so large that every orange chair was called for. Penny Hogan, soprano, enjoys the opportunity to perform on campus and demonstrate what she is teaching her students. She said, “If you are teaching students to be better performers and craft their skill, they need to see that you can also do it. We have walked the walk.” The Hogans charmed the audience with impressively advanced pieces in various languages. The pair was accompanied by Nelda Milligan and Dr. Michelle Rouche, piano; Michelle Palmer, clarinet; and Doug Fischer, cello. Each presented solo performances with the exception of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah/Widow Duet” and the final piece of the night, “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken,” arranged by Ovid Young. Freshman history major Austin Shuffield attended the Hogan recital and is a fan of the professors. “The Hogans are really nice,” Shuffield said. He liked that “they were singing hymns about the things that the university stands for.” They are far from strangers to the stage.  Each have impeccable resumes.  George served as stage manager at Carnegie Hall in New York City, where Penny has been featured as a guest soloist. The duo stays busy performing at churches, businesses and benefit concerts. As a musician and performer, Penny Hogan hopes to bring music to life for her audience and share her talents. At the conclusion of the  Jan. 21 recital, George Hogan said that they “have been so blessed over the...

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