Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Convenience comes at a price
Sep28

Convenience comes at a price

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are available at any time with just a click of a button. Pull out your headphones, plug it into your phone, and watch a wide assortment of movies anywhere you go. Now, think of this – the smell of popcorn and sweet candy filling the air. Movies, hundreds upon hundreds of selections, able to please just about anyone, sitting on shelves on every corner and spare inch of the room walls. The moment you step into this atmosphere, you get the complete movie experience. Unfortunately, this has been stripped from us, and so soon. Millennials have never really had a chance to walk inside a Blockbuster. I feel that it is too convenient and easy for us to get entertainment. It’s not just movies. It’s really any form of retail. Bookstores and mom and pop shops are closing, as are large stores such as JCPenny, which plans on terminating 14% of its stores this year alone (Bankrate.com). Why go somewhere to buy something when you can easily get it online? Yes, there are positive attributes to online shopping. Items are often cheaper online, especially with Amazon Prime. Avoiding lines and crowds is also great. And who doesn’t want a large variety of items? Which brings me back to my main point – easy accessibility. How does living off of convenience reflect a society’s values? We can sit on the sofa comfortably, buying to our hearts content and watching Netflix until the sun sets, but there is a cost. With fewer people buying their items at stores and relying on technology to fulfill their orders or desires, brick and mortars are at risk of shutting down. Jobs are also lost at corporations that close as a result. One store that I’m incredibly sad about that went out of business is Family Christian, which has been around for 85 years. They closed 240 of their shops, letting go of around 3,000 people who are unemployed – due to consumers and their desire for convenience (USA Today). I have fond memories of Family Christian, one being my mom taking me there after coming home for the weekend during my freshman year. We saw all of the encouraging Bible verses on the décor and felt a sense of happiness that we could spend some time together before I had to head back to college. No matter how hard you try, you can’t have memorable experiences on online stores. The same goes for Blockbuster. I went there many times as a child and had fun looking at all the different types of movies upon the shelves as my father,...

Read More
Big chain vs Local beanery – which is better?
Sep28

Big chain vs Local beanery – which is better?

While getting coffee with some friends, I noticed there were advocates for both the global chains and the local establishments. I wanted to take a deeper look into what decisions we all have to make before deciding which coffee place to choose. Whether we are visiting the world’s largest coffee brand or a local beanery, it is safe to say everyone has their own unique opinion. Starbucks, for example, is a well-known brand with almost 24,000 locations around the globe. The coffee chain is clearly a contender for best coffee shop no matter the location. But if you’re looking for a great local beanery, you can’t forget about an equally important contender, Arusha’s Coffee and Tea. First impressions mean everything to a newcomer. Returning customers will always come back for the experience and atmosphere. Customers know what to expect from Starbucks – free high-speed internet and Wi-Fi. Most Starbucks work at a very fast-pace, making personal interactions unlikely. Some customers would even argue Starbucks is losing its edge because of how commonly they are found. Arusha’s is a stylish coffee house serving beverages in an inviting space. They offer something unique to the general public in order to keep guests circulating in and out. “Arusha’s is a one-of-a-kind coffee shop,” said former Arusha’s employee Emily Maulding. “Their extensive menu has something for everybody. They connect well with their community.” First comes the aroma of coffee, but then, the moment of truth – the taste. Starbucks sources, roasts, and delivers the highest quality coffee in the world. They aim for a consistent blend with every visit. They follow strict measurements with certain ingredients on a regular basis. “It’s exactly the same no matter where I travel in the world,” said Starbucks enthusiast Erin Atchley. “I ordered my usual when I traveled to Barcelona, Spain and it tasted exactly the same as it had in the states.” Before stepping foot into a local coffee shop, customers can expect paying anywhere from $3.50-$5.00 for a drink. Contrary to popular belief, Starbucks charges similar prices. The difference comes into play when the same dollar amount goes back to the community rather than the global scope. The ability to use Cru Cash as a student is also an advantage. I come from a huge city where global chains overshadow local businesses. Now that I live in a small town for college, I am surrounded by lots of small businesses. So, I almost feel obligated to try every little establishment until I have conquered them all. However, I will confess I give in to the global establishment more often than I should. Maybe one day...

Read More
Letter from the Editor
Aug23

Letter from the Editor

“What did you do this summer?” This was a popular essay topic we were tasked to answer in our years in leading up to college. And although we are no longer asked to fill up a spiral with adventures at water parks and campgrounds, comparing summer vacations is still popular among students. As editor of The Bells, I have a medium in which to share my summer happenings. So here’s a taste of what I experienced. During the last week of June, I took a road trip to Colorado and Wyoming with my two sisters, my parents and my grandmother. We stopped in Colorado Springs to visit my aunt and uncle, where we also visited the Garden of the Gods. We took plenty of Instagram-worthy pictures of the red rock formations that rise up from the ground. Being the sentimentalist that I am, I convinced everyone to scour the park for a certain rock formation that we’d stood in front of six years prior to recreate a family-loved photo. From there, we headed to Grand Tetons National Park. Once we left Jackson Hole, Wyoming, we no longer had cell phone service antil we traveled back through three days later. As soon as we drove into the park, we passed signs warning us of nearby bears, which had us all pressing our noses to the car window in search of a black bear. During our first morning in the Grand Tetons, I convinced my family to rent kayaks. I took a single, and everyone else rode in tandem. We were given a map of the area and told to return in two hours. Getting out on the water, feeling the cold wind flood through my jacket and being surrounded by the majestic mountains created an exhilarating experience. An hour into kayaking, we knew that trouble was approaching in the form of dark storm clouds. From there, it was a race against time to get back to the marina before the storm hit. Once we safely got back to the marina, we drove into Yellowstone National Park. We got to see Old Faithful, a geyser known for shooting out water high into the air every hour-and-a-half. Once I returned from Wyoming, I boarded a plane with my 17-year-old sister, Haley, to Anchorage, Alaska for a mission trip. I will never be the same after this trip. We started our trip out with a glacier tour. Then, we had the privilege of visiting four churches in the area, where we helped knock on doors, distribute door hangers, pray with people, sing and preach atrevival services, and assist with electrical work. One of...

Read More
World’s best cup of coffee
Apr26

World’s best cup of coffee

Published in the April 26, 2017 issue of The Bells People like to joke that coffee is the lifeblood of a college student. Everyone acts as though we run on caffeine And in all fairness, we play into the stereotype quite often. The problem is that when most students choose to go, they choose more often than not to visit a corporate coffee chain. And why shouldn’t they? We have one on campus, and off-campus – they are everywhere. They are convenient, they work fairly quickly, and the atmosphere usually makes it worth hanging out for a while. But there are better options, like visiting local coffee places or ordering beans online and making your own. Most of my experience with coffee has either been at Starbucks, when I was around junior high age, or at a shop at home where I worked for nearly three years. I am not exaggerating when I say that the owner of the shop hated each and every one of the giants that dominate the coffee industry. He did research into some of the larger brands, and found some issues with how they treat their product. One of the facts about coffee that most people do not know is that it goes stale but not “bad.” It loses most of its taste, but does not expire. Ideally though, when you make coffee, your beans were roasted less than a month beforehand. At most of the big-name places, coffee can be sitting around for up to six months. And more often than not, the coffee is over-roasted. This one is less avoidable. Big companies have to make sure they provide all of their stores with beans that will end up tasting the same when they are made into drinks, and they have to do it in bulk. But that causes issues for small shops, because customers come in expecting that what they ask for in more mainstream shops will taste the same there. And it makes them angry when they get the wrong roast or blend, which just drives them back to the bigger chains. Cups cause a bigger issue than you might think as well. You cannot walk into a small shop and ask for a size that you would get elsewhere. Just use the terms “small,” “medium” or “large,” please. If a company uses other sizes, they are likely branded and unusable by other companies. Small, local places lack all the drama of a larger brand. The names of the drinks are straightforward, the sizes make sense, and the employees are usually friendlier. They generally have the same kind of atmosphere, where...

Read More
What I learned as a freshman
Apr26

What I learned as a freshman

Oh, Freshmen year. It is a time of adjustment, growth and new beginnings. It is when a person is completely confused about what is happening, but has a blast anyway. Freshmen year is two semesters of struggles and immeasurable joy. With all the lessons I have learned these past nine months, 18 stick out. Here are the top lessons I have learned while being at the bottom of the college food chain. 1.“Meyer” does not refer to the Isabelle Rutherford-Meyer Nursing building. If you go to the nursing building for your 8 a.m. New Testament class, you will be thoroughly embarrassed. 2.Make a friend who knows how to open a mail box. Those locks are tricky, man. 3. Do not be afraid to go to a meeting on campus by yourself. Put yourself out there and meet someone new. 4. T-shirt giveaways are INTENSE. Turn on Twitter notifications and be ready to run. Fist fights are discouraged but not out of the question if a Play Day tank is involved. 5.If you see a car parked and running at night but the headlights are off—do not look in. They are probably making out. 6.That orange powder from the grass on your shoes is pollen, not Dorito cheese. 7.Spend time alone. Intentionally set aside time to go to the lake or Arusha’s by yourself. Recharge and enjoy. 8.If Olivia is grilling in Bawcom, get your booty over there. 9.Do. Not. Pull. Through. Campus Police can sense a change in the force and they will find you. 10.FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. Very real. You have to learn that you simply cannot attend every adventure your friends have. 11.Your faith will officially become your own freshman year. What you believe and how you choose to live it out is up to you. Take this newfound freedom seriously. 12.Put your phone down. 13.Put your phone down. 14.Put your phone down. 15.Though it may not look like it, everyone is struggling somehow. Never feel isolated in your pain or confusion. We all have baggage and we all need a savior. 16.Go check-out a children’s book from the library and read a friend a bedtime story. I personally suggest the Berenstein Bears. 17.Take advantage of our beautifully luscious grass. Walk barefoot and enjoy the sunshine. 18.Spend every day thanking Jesus that you are a...

Read More
Bible journaling- a great way to strengthen faith
Apr26

Bible journaling- a great way to strengthen faith

Published in the April 26, 2017 issue of The Bells Do you yearn to delve deeper into the Word of God?  Recently, a friend showed me various drawings she’d made based on scripture, and since then I’ve been hooked. Bible journaling, sometimes known as Illustrated Faith, is a great way to interact with God’s Word in a different way. Here are my tips for Bible journaling: 1.What do I journal in? You can begin Bible journaling in a spiral notebook, on loose-leaf sheets of notebook paper, in a regular Bible, or you can buy a specific Bible made for journaling. These Bibles are made with blank space in the margins that are wide enough to draw pictures.  Check out some examples of journaling bibles at http://www.lifeway.com/n/Type/Journaling-Bible. I would recommend using something different than your main study Bible for Bible journaling because sometimes your pictures may cover the text, which might make it hard to read your Bible in the future. 2.Where do I begin? You have your Bible journal. Now what? Read the Word. Does a specific verse stick out to you? Then draw a picture or maybe write the scripture in fancy text. Here’s an example: Matthew 28:19 states, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” To make a Bible journal entry for this verse, I might draw a map of the world and color it. If you’re not an artist, that’s okay.  It’s your own way to connect with God. Just be creative and have fun.  When you’re first beginning, you might make mistakes, but that’s one thing that makes Bible journaling fun. No two drawings are the same. 3.What materials do I use? I always begin with pencil because I make mistakes all the time. Don’t be afraid to use the whole page. Or just use the margins. It’s up to you. Once you have your picture drawn out, then it’s time to experiment. I enjoy using black pen (for outlining the drawing), crayons, map pencils, oil pastels, and water colors. Be forewarned, watercolors give a whole new dimension to your drawings, but they are very hard to use without bleeding through to the next page. You can also use scrap- book supplies such as stickers, stamps, colored paper, and washi tape. Dayspring.com sells Bible journaling supplies, like paper cutouts, clear stamp and journaling Bibles. 4.What if I don’t have any ideas on what to draw? Pinterest is full of Bible journaling ideas that other journalists have done in the past.  I get most of my ideas from Pinterest, and I...

Read More
Page 5 of 64« First...34567...102030...Last »