Students groove to an ’80s royal bash
Sep29

Students groove to an ’80s royal bash

Crusaders got to “kick off their Sunday shoes” with new President and first lady, Randy and Julie O’Rear at the ’80s Bash held in their honor. Students dressed in costume were welcomed at the door of the Mabee-Farris Gymnasium by senior Jeremy Williams. Sporting a shiny red raincoat material suit from head to toe and wearing a curly-haired mullet, he stamped everyone as they entered – the stamp bearing the image of O’Rear in coat and tie. Sophomore computer graphics design major Lauren McKenzie said, “When I first got to the dance, Jeremy was stamping people. I didn’t think anything of it until I looked down on my forearm, and it was a man’s face.” McKenzie said at first she thought the stamp resembled Elvis. “But I thought, ‘Wait a minute, the ’80s weren’t his decade’,” she said. “So I did a double take, and burst into laughter when I realized it was Dr. O’Rear.” Students welcomed the night’s special guests to the dance floor with “Endless Love” for their first dance. The first lady wore a bright pink dress and elbow-length gloves. President O’Rear wore a sequined purple coat and several inches of black hair,which he must have grown within a few hours of his inauguration. Underneath flashing lights, students danced to tunes such as “Foot Loose,” “Strangers” and “One Way or Another.” As an emcee for the event, Vice President of Student Life Byron Weathersbee sported a golden MC Hammer outfit that fellow faculty found for him to wear. “Two problems,” he said. “One is that only MC Hammer wore crazy clothes like that in the ’80s, and the other is I really looked more like Aladdin.” Assistant Director of Campus Activities Jeff Sutton served as the “master emcee.” Weathersebee said, “(He) is great up front and connects with people in amazing ways.” Student Body President Tommy Wilson took center stage sporting zebra pants and killer-cool sunglasses to officially dub the O’Rears as president and first lady on behalf of the students, saying with a Bawcomlike accent, “I dub thee forever.” Crusaders snapped pictures with friends posing with various posters of so-twenty-years-ago stars next to an inflatable pool full of Cheeto balls. At a nearby table, director of student organizations Kristy Brischke dished out assorted candies in rainbow colors. Students also got to take “prom pictures” in front of a sparkling backdrop – all photos are available on Facebook. Residence directors joined the show, too. As students formed a fashion show like line of free space on the dance floor, RDs were announced, moving to the catwalk wearing their retro getup. Students cheered them on as they...

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Simplicity of the Gospel: Finding Jesus in dead cat

The search for something profound often leads to silent disappointment, while the simplicity of life’s adventures can bring us to an unexpected point of reverence; so a 4-year-old boy I babysit showed me. As we went on our usual walk—pretending to be Woody and Jessie from Toy Story—we talked about fighting bad guys and finding Buzz Lightyear, and all the other random things that go through a young boy’s adventurous mind. But as we looked down the road, a giant white monster truck—or maybe it was just a Chevy Silverado— zoomed past leaving behind a squirming baby cat half run-over. After I instructed the young boy to stay on the sidewalk, I ran into the road and picked up the baby kitty before another car could hit it. It was horrific. The kitten’s eye was literally hanging by a thread, and blood was gushing down my arm. The cat was spastically jolting from a few functioning nerves. I laid it behind a rock so the child couldn’t see death overtake the small, helpless animal. I’m not going to lie. Though I’m 21 years old and the cat wasn’t even mine, I had to hold back tears. I couldn’t believe it. A half amputated cat just died, and I watched every moment of it. I don’t even like cats. But it was hard for me to see something happen to such an innocent creature. Of course, the little boy wanted to see the cat, so I led him over there to cease his curiosity. We had a mock funeral, which included some condolences and, of course, a prayer. Then we headed toward the creek to play in the water. “The cat died,” he kept repeating until we reached our final destination. “This is real sad. There’s blood on your hands.” He kept staring at the blood on my hands. After I rinsed my arms in the water, he looked at me and smiled. “Now we can be happy,” he exclaimed. “There’s no more blood on you, and the cat is with God.” Then he asked me a simple question that really made me think. “Did the cat die because he wasn’t supposed to be playing in the road?” “Yes, the cat did die because he was in the road,” I said. “And the road is dangerous. That’s why we can’t walk in the road.” He looked at me, content with the answer. “The cat died, and it was sad. And there was blood. But now there’s no blood so we can be happy because we know we cannot play in the road,” he said. I almost envied this young child’s...

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University president dubs renowned artist a Crusader
Sep16

University president dubs renowned artist a Crusader

Christian music sensation Phil Wickham rocked the steps of Luther Memorial with a concert and a worship service Aug. 22 and 23. As the sun sank beneath the horizon, the night sky illuminated a stage for worship. “My music is an ultimate goal to create a response, and to respond with and encounter God and to go deeper with him ––to create a moment with God,” Wickham said. The musician encourages the younger generation to be convicted by their beliefs. “It is a massive struggle with my generation and a problem that goes way beyond the generation,” Wickham said. “There’s a professing of Christianity and what it means to pursue God every day. There is a lack of passion to live, not just raising your hands in church and witnessing once a month. A phrase to describe it well is ‘reckless abandon.’ Our job as young believers is to live a life that is unafraid, abandoning all cares into the wind and saying ‘I’m going to live for Jesus.’” During his time spent at the university, Wickham was dubbed a Crusader by university President Randy O’Rear. Junior nursing major Sarah Herriott was excited about the event. “I thought it was cool that he was made an official Crusader for life,” she said. Sophomore sports management major Andy Evans agreed. “The concert was well done; and everybody got a kick out of him being dubbed as a Crusader,” he said. Wickham encouraged students to be conscious of their actions. “It’s easy to be a Christian because the lines are more blurred in the world,” he said. “Romans 12:1 … should be the motto or statement for living. There are so many songs and poems, but can you say day to day, ‘I’m going to put you (God) over myself.’ It’s impossible because we’re human, but a passion is created that will change us.” Aside from touring, Wickhan recently married his longtime girlfriend. “I’ve been married 10 months now, and it has affected my career very well,” he said. “Our relationship has had an amazing improvement. We were dating when I first signed as an artist. She tours with me and is also involved with Compassion International.” Wickham said his marriage has taught him more about God. “It’s so amazing to have a partner to make me be honest with myself,”he said. “It’s complete love and a reminder of God’s love.” Wickham and his spouse are both strong supporters for Compassion International. “The foundation is an opportunity for more fortunate people to sponsor an individual child for $38 a month,” he said. “It will provide clothing, education, clean water (and) food...

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Novelist Ted Dekker gives Skin goose bumps
Apr21

Novelist Ted Dekker gives Skin goose bumps

By Evangeline Ciupek Wendy Davidson could barely see the road through the pounding storm—she had just escaped from an abusive cult. Blinded by the rain, she crashes into a stalled pickup. Blood smears the truck’s window, and the driver is gone. Wendy runs back to her car for the pistol she keeps under the seat. Ted Dekker’s 2007 novel, Skin, takes readers on a wild ride through the otherwise sleepy town of Sommerville, Nev.. The town is plagued by tornadoes and Sterling Red, a serial killer who enjoys sucking mustard bottles, killing the innocent and hiding their bodies like Easter eggs. Wendy is joined by Carey and Nicole (a brother and sister with secrets), and policeman Colt, “a clumsy, insecure mess around women, and only slightly better around men.” They all rush into a safe house to escape the tornadoes. Afterward, everything outside has changed. Is it a freak of nature? Is it an alternate reality? Are they all going crazy? Is one of them Red? After the tornadoes pass, Wendy, Casey, Rachel, and Colt are astonished at the sight of Sommerville. It is submerged beneath tons of sand. It is a wasteland criss-crossed with dangerous electric currents. Wendy hears a humming sound. She’s tormented by ever-increasing blackouts. “She gasped, then immediately realized that it wasn’t the world but her own vision that turned black. Pinpricks of light swam on the horizon. She was losing her sight ….” Jerry Pinkus joins the fray. He’s a computer whiz whose index finger was chopped off in his sleep. He claims Red did it. But Wendy isn’t convinced. They get trapped in the library, which becomes the set for Red’s deadly mind games. To say that Dekker is a prolific, as well as exciting, writer would be understating the truth.  Since 1997 he’s authored and co-authored more than 30 books, including graphic novels and series. The novels Thr3e and House became movies. Dekker creates supernatural thrillers pumped with spiritual metaphors. “Darkness and evil are no less comforting than a wolf is a sheep. So when I write about the wolf, I give him fangs and a thirst for blood. (He’s) not a lap dog who we feel nice about cuddling …. If … illuminating such an enemy disturbs the reader, we should all be grateful,” Dekker said in an interview with Ann Vande Zande for CBN. Skin exhibits common threads found in many of Dekker’s novels: no-way-out dead ends, romance, self-sacrifice, villains experiencing tremors and (excuse the expression) a black-and-white view of good and evil. Some common words used include “pig,” “black bat” and “the circle.” Dekker seen life as a stage...

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Hubble telescope shines in lecture
Apr21

Hubble telescope shines in lecture

By Garrett Pekar and Evangeline Ciupek Planets, star nurseries and black holes shone intensely on the wall of York Science Center’s Brindley Auditorium. These pictures, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, have aided scientists in their quest to learn more about the universe. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Representative, Dr. Clay Fulcher, gave a speech sponsored by the College of Humanities on “NASA: Training Astronauts and Servicing the Hubble Telescope.” The Hubble takes better pictures than any earth-based telescope because there is no atmosphere obstructing the view. “Basically, it’s the greatest investigative machine that’s been invented by man, as far as learning more about outer space, and where the universe came from and where it’s going,” Fulcher said. Black holes cannot be captured in a photo, but the Hubble has helped to uncover their se-crets. When a star suddenly disappears from the telescope’s image, it is swallowed by a black hole. That is how scientists know where black holes exist. “The Hubble (has) really opened the door to dark energy, dark matter and black holes. And this picture is actually a black hole,” Fulcher explained. “You can tell where it is because it’ll be sucking in stars.” In the past 19 years, the Hubble has been serviced four times. In these missions, astronauts completed tasks including replacing batteries and changing solar panels. “It was designed to last three to five years. It was launched in 1990, so it has far exceeded its lifetime,” Fulcher said. The next servicing mission will be May 12. The fifth mission holds a seven-member crew—six men and one woman. They will replace the original solar panels, among other things. The crew trains in a giant swimming pool at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “It took a month to fill up this pool,” Fulcher said. Under the water, astronauts practice performing their mission on full-sized mock-ups of the telescope and space shuttle. “(Astronauts) can be rendered mutually buoyant …. That’s the closest approximation to being in zero-gravity space that you get,” Fulcher said. When the astronauts are ready for the real deal, all of the needed materials are packed into the space shuttle in a gigantic vertical assembly building. An equally enormous moving platform, called a crawler-transporter, moves it out to the launch pad. Fulcher paused at a 2002 picture of Shuttle Columbia before liftoff. A rainbow reaches down to touch the nose of the vehicle. “I like to think that God is pleased with man’s inquisitiveness and his interest in learning more about His creations,” he  said. Freshman computer science major, Drew Donahue, liked the pictures in Fulcher’s presentation. “They made it a...

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Sole 2 Soul: no shoes for just one day
Apr21

Sole 2 Soul: no shoes for just one day

A group of shoeless children in Haiti play together in the streets, accepting it as their way of life. However, non-profit organizations are trying to do all they can to help  the barefoot children’s cause. To spread awareness, UMHB’s athletic department,  the Student Government Association, Hope for the Hungry and Wal-Mart all partnered to raise money for children in Haiti in an event called Sole 2 Soul. Students, faculty and staff were challenged to go without footwear on April 15, to experience what life is like for orphans with no shoes. They also had the chance to donate shoes, buy new shoes or contribute money during the one-day event. Student body president, Tatenda Tavaziva, and sophomore offensive lineman, Max Taylor, helped organize the shoe campaign. He approached Tavaziva one day in the SUB, saying he thought it would be a great idea if some time this semester the university could be challenged for everyone to walk around barefoot to bring more awareness to the cause. Tavaziva said, “I was in line waiting for a Chick-fil-A sandwich, and this random comment was said. In my head, I’m like great idea, love your heart, but there is no way this is happening: OSHA, health code risk, liability insurance. All of those factors are the first things that stick out to me. I will look into it, but just don’t think it’s going to happen.” What started out with just a conversation in the SUB, with little hope due to university health codes, four months later resulted in raising $2,600 to help the children of Haiti. For Tavaziva, the most shocking thing about the process of the event was that  little planning was involved. “No committee meetings, no fancy paperwork or looking at different health codes. Door after door was being opened,” he said. Tavaziva was invited to speak about his recent trip to Haiti by a professor in the economic department and left with a possibility of Wal-mart jumping on board. “I told them about my trip to Haiti and what Sole 2 Soul now means. And one of the coolest things was that the son of the manager of the Belton Wal-Mart tells me he would go talk to his dad to see what they could arrange.” The challenge was to step outside of yourself for just one day. Tavaziva knew it would not be an easy day for most, but his hope was, “maybe for one day we can get a taste of what these kids go through every day of their lives. And that is what this day is about. It’s not for show, not for my last...

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