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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‘Duplicity,’ two sides for every story
Mar31

‘Duplicity,’ two sides for every story

The Movie Duplicity is not unlike many espionage movies before it. Elements from Mission Impossible and Mr. and Mrs. Smith weave themselves into the plot of the film and the planning process by the characters in the movie rivals Ocean’s Eleven and it’s similarly named successors. Julia Roberts adds a slick, sneaky and sexy feel to the story alongside stunning co-star Clive Owen, playing a pair of spies plotting to take down their respective companies. Pros Despite an awkward opening scene, the movie starts rather quickly and wastes little time giving no more background to the characters than what we would absolutely need for the story. Duplicity’s strengths lie in its thrilling moments. When plans are set into motion, it is easy to get emotionally involved in the outcome of the covert operation. The ending to the movie is superb, shocking and surprising to movie-goers. The film keeps viewers on their toes, wondering where things are going to go next, following every emotional rise and fall and guessing the outcome of the worst (and best) situations in which the characters find themselves. Duplicity is not going to have the same kind of ostentatious entertainment as a movie like Transformers or Pirates of the Caribbean, but delivers its value in the intellectual play between both of the main characters, Ray and Claire. Cons The movie goes back and forth in time too much, causing problems in the continuity of the film. Information is not provided about what is going on until the actions are set into motion, which breaks the momentum and becomes problematic. An attention span is required to enjoy the movie to its fullest. There are so many details involved that viewers have to remain on their toes to catch each little facet of the plot. Duplicity is hard to follow, but if you can keep up, the reward at the end of the movie is worth it. The Bottom Line The Bells gives Duplicity a three out of five bell rating because of Julia Roberts’ impressive return, an interesting heist story and some great chemistry between both of the leads. The film makes use of great cinematography and mixes the use of older-style editing with great camera work to pull off a visual treat. The twists in the plot keep the audience guessing at each turn and pulls everyone’s emotions into the final steps of the heist. Although not distinctive in its ideas, Duplicity does a lot of things right and pulls it all together into a pleasant, but forgettable...

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CAB sponsors event, coffee and live music draw crowd
Mar31

CAB sponsors event, coffee and live music draw crowd

By Russell Dotson Texas Java opened its doors for more than 200 students March 3 for an event hosted by the Campus Activities Board. This small-town coffee shop has progressively become the local student hotspot for studying and social networking, so it was only a matter of time before student organizations began to bridge the gap between campus and students’ favorite caffeine dive. Jeff Sutton, assistant director of campus activities, organized the event with Jennifer Larkin, a junior history major, who serves as the executive board member over logistics. “We had a lot of students say they wanted to do coffee house events,” Sutton said. “They like music, and they like free stuff.” So CAB came up with an idea. “We tried combining as many things as we could, passed out free drinks, and had live student musicians, and then we were able to pass out some surveys to find out what students would like to do next year.” Once students filled out the survey, they got a ticket that was good for any drink in any size. “The surveys gave us vital information, helping us know what events students have gone to and what events they liked, and what they have heard about from other places that they would like to bring here,” Sutton said. The first musicians to hit the stage were Ryan Chandler and Jacob Campsey, who call themselves Two Guys and Two Guitars. After Chandler and Campsey were Alison Hankins, Mark Rojas, Jonathan Dean, Abbey Smith and Megan McCuscy. “Jeff and I wanted an easy, low-key event,” Larkin said. “It was a great opportunity to get feedback on CAB that we might not necessarily have gotten on campus.” Larkin is one of three executive board members working with CAB. “I plan events, make sure they go well and make sure that if any problems come up, I can deal with them,” she said. “I also take event ideas and make them a reality.” Larkin and the other two board members meet throughout the week, assisting with the planning and oversight of events. They work closely with 30 other students who volunteer their time and services. Mara Prindle is a freshman who works with CAB. “At the meetings, we talk about the upcoming events and volunteer to help with them. Each event has to have a chairperson. I served as the chair for Ladies Night and Preview Weekend last semester,” she said. For the Texas Java event, she handed out flyers in Johnson where she lives. Last semester, the Beltonian, Belton’s dinner-and-a-movie movie theatre, started offering UMHB students a free movie pass on Thursday nights. Sutton...

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