At the end of each school year, LCU faculty are asked to nominate students they believe embody the spirit, values, and mission of the university. The student body is then asked to vote for Mr. and Ms. LCU from a selection of six finalists (three men and three women). This year's finalists included Aaron Stephenson, Caleb Blakeney, Chase Smith, Samantha Turley, Abbi Brock, and Emily Pool. Out of this group of outstanding candidates, the Lubbock Christian University student body named Aaron Stephenson and Samantha Turley Mr. and Ms. LCU 2014. Aaron Stephenson, a biology major from Lubbock, played basketball during his four years at LCU, served as president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, was an orientation leader, and worked as an Encounter counselor. Being named Mr. LCU isn't the first honor the student body has bestowed on Aaron this year, as they also named him 2014 Homecoming King. These two awards make clear the important role Aaron has played in and the impact he has made on the student body during his time at LCU. Samantha Turley, an English major and music minor from Pampa, is an Honors student, served as Vice President and Activities director for the Student Honors Advisory Council, participated in theater during her four years at LCU, directed Zeta Gamma Follies two years and banquet one, and is a member of the Kappa Delta, Alpha Chi, and Sigma Tau Delta Honors societies. Samantha has also served as President of Choir and been involved in Forte, Praise Choir, and Chamber Singers. Her beautiful voice, smiling face, and contagious enthusiasm have made an imprint on the campus that will not soon be forgotten. Congratulations to Aaron Stephenson and Samantha Turley, our 2014 Mr. and Ms. LCU!
At the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier last Friday, fans of the comic heroes flew into an excited uproar. Flew like the Falcon, a new hero introduced in the movie. The movie has been a huge cinematic success since its opening weekend. Many movie-goers have called it the best Marvel Studios movie yet and that could very well be true. The movie has a balanced blend of action and plot that will leave movie and comic book fans alike reeling in their seats. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) command the screen from the moment they appear. In addition, a host of minor characters and the mysterious villain, the Winter Soldier, keep the movie engaging. And don’t forget the end-credit scenes, a tradition in all of their movies that keeps their audience seated until the final frame. Though of the two major comic brand names, DC has historically been the more successful, Marvel is currently dominating the cinematic scene. After recent DC hero movies The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel fell flat for fans everywhere, Marvel has stepped in to shoulder the fame. Though not every Marvel movie has been produced by Marvel Studios, all of the Avengers movies can be attributed to them and can be recognized their overlapping characters and consistent storylines. Marvel releases at least two movies a year and is also working on a series of TV shows to tie in with the movies. They constantly have their fans in mind and never leave them waiting too long for a new installment. Though not every movie they produce gets as stellar reviews as Winter Soldier, they produce enough material that fans are never disappointed. Perhaps this is the new-age recipe for comic book success. Movies put comic characters in the public eye, even in those that have never scanned a comic book page. Successful movies draw fans to merchandise. Merchandise draws fans to new movies. It creates an on-going cycle of success that is only promoted by new releases like Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Perhaps the most exciting thing about Winter Soldier is that it changes everything that has been previously established in the Marvel cinematic universe, meaning it will affect the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and any following Marvel movies. Two movies still remain in Phase 2: Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s not hard to imagine that much more is yet to happen before the phase closes.
The annual Lubbock Christian University Scholars Colloquium is happening this week on our campus. Despite going to school on campus, many students still don’t know what the Scholars Colloquium is. The Scholars Colloquium is an annual event every spring semester that highlights the scholarly achievement of the students and faculty of LCU. The colloquium is mostly forum based, where the students or faculty present their findings and scholarly work, and then time is allowed for people to ask questions and discuss the work presented. This year, the Scholars Colloquium features many guest speakers, such as the keynote speaker Dr. Kenneth Elzinga. Dr. Elzinga is professor of Economics at the University of Virginia and a devout Christian. He is presenting his research entitled, “Adam Smith; the free market and the Christian.” Also, a guest speaker in chapel on April 10th was Dr. Cathy Box. She spoke to the student body about the need for scholarly research and individual study, as well as why and how students should study what they are interested in. Some participants in the colloquium presented poster projects, which are on display in the Student Union Building (SUB) until Friday April 11th. If you can’t make the breakout sessions Friday, there’s always next spring. Go and support your classmates as well as learn something interesting. The LCU Scholars’ Colloquium is a unique experience every student should see and participate in.
Going into what I’m about to say, I’m assuming most of you know the story of Esther. Esther is a unique story in the Bible, and not just because the book is devoted completely to a female heroine. In a Beth Moore study I did years ago she pointed out that Esther is the only book in the entire Bible where God’s name is never mentioned. Moore’s favorite saying was always, “God’s name may not be in it, but He’s all over it.” This phrase pretty much sums up the book of Esther. The point of God not being mentioned in Esther is to show what we see every day here on campus and everywhere else in the world. He is not a physical being we can touch. In fact, the phrase we are often taught is that “He is more than we can fathom.” The way we know He exists at all is faith. Faith is a stronger word than we can imagine. The word alone encompasses all of our being. It takes our very hopes and dreams and plans and pulls out the very nature of our souls, that keeps us going when things get hard. God is not mentioned because He didn’t need to be mentioned. Esther knew He was there without being told. She did what she had to not because she wasn’t afraid, but because she had faith that He was with her even though she might have lost her life. Faith is always powerful, always present, and always has room to grow. We never reach a maximum because faith is always changing. I think we have a tendency to forget things like this in the midst of the end of the year rush. All we’re really thinking about is how ready we are for this semester to be over. We forget the fact that in Esther’s time she could still be killed for even approaching the king without permission. The fact that she was his wife didn’t matter. She was lucky if she even saw him once a month. So maybe we don’t hear a voice on the wind telling us all the answers to our tests. Esther is proof that we don’t need a constant reminder just to know He’s there. We don’t need Him to tell us the answers. All we need is the faith that He will help us get through the rest of the school year. Happy studying! “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26
A familiar show to many theatre connoisseurs, Steel Magnolias at CATS is a success from the first line. In addition to a well-written script, the play has a complete recipe of quality, entertaining ingredients. Steel Magnolias was co-directed by joint team Cornelius Brown and Dana Coulson and is 1 of 10 shows in CATS 2014 theatrical season. The cast of six women is phenomenal in its entirety. There is not a weak link among them. Each one is riveting with their portrayals of the events occurring in Chiquapin Parish, Louisiana. They display a blend of humor and drama as the tale unfolds. CATS has an intimate stage to begin with, but the actresses manage to make the story even more personal with their performances. The set is busy, but in a way that is both practical and realistic. Since the whole story takes place in Truvy's Salon and the story reflects all the happenings in the town, true to the typical gossip of a small-town salon. The props include a variety of hair care products, a working shampoo station, and 80's uplifting propaganda. To be fair, the whole show is so delightfully 80's. Tacky Christmas sweaters, timely jokes, and poofy hairstyles abound. Everybody who's anybody gets their hair done at Truvy's and goes to see Steel Magnolias at CATS. The rest of the shows are Friday and Saturday nights the 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th at 7:30. Tickets are $12 for students and $15 for adults.
Lubbock Christian University has been so blessed with the singing group Best Friends. Not only do all members have an incredible vocal ability, but more importantly they give the gift of God’s glory as they sing and spread the word of the Lord to our university as well as to churches around town and around the state. Best Friends consists of ten members: five guys and five girls. They perform a cappella adaptations of popular Christian radio tunes. Every year, the group releases a CD compilation of their current arrangements. They also occasionally lead chapel, Blur, and tour to surrounding churches to perform. Personally, when I hear that the group will be singing at chapel or certain church services, it gives me that extra boost and the motivation I need to worship God with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I have had the privilege of filming Blur when the group performs and they leave such a lasting impression on the audience. They are inspirational and spiritual leaders at LCU and will continue to lift our spirits as the semester comes to an end. I am looking forward to what the group has in store for us in the semesters to come. Music samples, information about members of the group, and an upcoming performance schedule can be found at http://www.lcu.edu/majors-programs/bachelors-degree/music/vocal-ensembles/best-friends.html.
If you haven’t read William Paul Young’s The Shack yet, plan to read it soon. The Shack is just 266 pages and it is one of those books that is a “fast read.” You can quickly read through the book and be given a deeper understanding of the relationship God wants with each of us. "The Shack is a one-of-a-kind invitation to journey to the very heart of God. Through my tears and cheers, I have been indeed transformed by the tender mercy with which [Young] opened the veil that too often separated me from God and from myself. With every page, the complicated do’s and don’ts that distort a relationship into a religion were washed away as I understood Father, Son, and Spirit for the first time in my life," said Patrick M. Roddy, Emmy Award-winning producer for ABC News. The Shack follows the life of Mackenzie Allen Phillips, or Mack. Mack and his wife, Nan, have five kids, Jon, Tyler, Josh, Katherine, and Missy. Throughout their lives, Mack and Nan have always gone to church, but Nan has always been more engaged with the experience. Nan even refers to God as “Papa.” Mack, however, doesn’t understand how someone could have such a rich and intense relationship with God. He believes, but he doesn’t have that deep relationship God requires of him. Mack and Nan’s lives are changed by a tragic accident, which occurs at “the Shack.” Mack refers to this accident as “The Great Sadness.” When Mack receives a strange note from “Papa” to meet him at the Shack, Mack journeys to the Shack only to find his life changed. The Shack is a great piece of literature that gives insight into how God wants a deep and connecting relationship with his sons and daughters.
LCU groups have seen all kinds of voting since we got back from spring break. There’s been Mr. and Mrs. LCU, votes for Senate, and, starting last week, the social clubs have started nominations and voting for club positions. Voting for social clubs is a long and hard process that depends largely on how the club presidents decide to run the allotted time. Whoever is voted into the leadership positions are the people who are going to represent your club to future members. Unfortunately, voting can cause some unwanted drama. This is especially true for the women’s clubs. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of running against someone in pursuit of the same goal. However, this can open up the floor for harsh critiques and judgments made not only by peers but by the individuals themselves as well. Voting can build up or destroy someone’s self-esteem in the blink of an eye. This is one glaring and daunting fact that just doesn’t go away. Remember when entering the process to have an open mind. If you are someone running for an office, take care not to get caught up in the competition. Whoever gets the position should be someone who cares about the club and the people in it. You can’t focus on being the best you can be for that position if you’re too busy trying to upstage the other person running. If you’re not running, don’t toss someone out of the process just because you don’t like them or don’t necessarily talk to them all the time. You can’t make an accurate decision unless you truly listen to what everyone has to say. Voting is by no means an easy process. Even when you go in with an open mind, someone is likely to be hurt. Whether or not you are hurt by something that’s said in critiques or get upset because you didn’t get the position, at the end of the day you are still all sisters and brothers in club and in Christ. What’s important is ultimately how you come away from the whole process. Will you embrace the position you are given and do your best for the club? Will you walk away knowing that – even though you didn’t get the position you wanted – there’s still hope for another year? Voting is long and hard, but worth it in the long run. Just make sure to go in and leave with God. He has His plans for you whether you get a position or not.
Let's face it, we are all college students. We are busy and tapped out of money. Still we have to eat. (Crazy, right?) Here are some fantastic recipes that are cheap and tasty. So on a night when you have limited time or limited cash use one of these: Italian Chicken and Pasta Salad, with Green Pepper, Onions, Olives, and Tomatoes -take 2 breasts of Tyson's frozen grilled chicken and microwave them -boil a box of rotini -chop up onions, peppers, and a fleshy tomato, -add sliced olives and a bottle of Italian dressing -chop up chicken and toss together Boboli Pizza -Boboli pizza crust (or any kind) -slop on some pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese -put any kind of toppings on top -put your oven on 425, and stick pizza in right away, 15 minutes later... it's done! -serve with a side salad Wrap leftovers in wax paper and foil, and you can microwave later for a quick lunch or snack. Breakfast Burritos -stick cheap Banquet fully-cooked sausage patties on stove top, scramble eggs on another burner, chop up sausage, green pepper, and onion -microwave tortillas for 30 seconds, -fill with eggs, sausage, pepper, and onions, sprinkle with cheese. -add salsa (optional) -serve with a can of mandarin oranges This will make about 6 servings, so wrap leftover burritos in wax paper and tin foil, then freeze. When you want to reheat, remove foil and microwave. Grilled Chicken Filet and Macaroni and Cheese -buy a bag of Tysons frozen grilled chicken fillet and heat on stove top -make macaroni and cheese on stove top (you'll need milk and butter in addition to the box) -serve with salad and topping of choice for chicken Alfredo Pasta, Chicken and Bacon Bits -boil a box of rotini -microwave 2 fillets of Tyson's frozen chicken breast -drain pasta -stir in a bottle of Classico Alfredo Sauce -dice up chicken -sprinkle with bacon bits -serve with salad Chicken, Corn, Tomato, and Cheddar Cheese Wraps with Ranch Dip -microwave 2 breasts of Tyson's grilled chicken fillets and dice up -chop up a beefsteak tomato -fill tortillas with diced chicken, canned corn, diced tomato, and cheddar cheese -serve with ranch dressing and a salad. Makes about 4 wraps. If you have leftovers, wrap in wax paper and foil and take to lunch the next day. Chicken Waldorf Salad Using Frozen Grilled Chicken -mix and serve the following -microwave 2 breasts of Tyson's grilled chicken fillets and dice up -chop up an apple -1/2 cup chopped walnuts -1 cup of halved seedless grapes -2 stalks of diced celery. -1/2 cup of mayo (or more- to taste), and add salt and pepper. Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches -take 2 slices of bread and spray with cooking spray, place in pan on stove top -layer on roast beef luncheon meat, cheese, mayo, salt and pepper -top with more bread -cook and flip on stove top until melted -serve with salad Chicken Quesadillas -microwave 2 fillets of Tyson's Frozen Grilled Chicken Breast and dice up -cook tortilla on pan on stove -fill with chicken, shredded cheese, salsa, green pepper, and onion -top with a second tortilla and apply weight (another frying pan?) flip and serve. -serve with salad Chicken Parmesan Using Frozen Grilled Chicken -cook 2 fillets of Tyson's Frozen Grilled Chicken Breast on the stove top -top with a generous spoonful of spaghetti sauce, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese -boil thin Spaghetti, drain and mix with remaining pasta sauce -serve with salad Chicken Patty Sandwiches -microwave 2 chicken patties -add to hamburger rolls and top with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and lettuce -serve with salad and baked beans. Spaghetti and Meat Sauce -boil a box of spaghetti -mix in a jar of meat sauce -serve with salad and toast with butter Pancakes, French Toast, or Waffles -buttermilk pancake mix, just add water -white bread soaked in milk, eggs, and vanilla -toaster waffles if you're desperate -scramble up some eggs -heat up some fully cooked sausage and add a banana French Bread Pizza or Pizza Bagels: -grab a loaf of french bread or bagels -split, top with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese -add whatever you topping you like -bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches -throw two cups of condensed cheddar cheese soup in a pot -add three cups frozen chopped broccoli -add three cups of milk -add one cup of frozen potatoes O'Brien -bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes -add toast and warm with butter and cheese to serve Recipes derived from: http://bornfreenorthernvirginia.blogspot.com/2012/06/3-weeks-of-cheap-dinners-ready-in-under.html?m=1
Last week in chapel on Wednesday, March 26th, the LCU Praise Choir sang a few songs from their program for the gathering of LCU students to hear. This was just a taste of what will be sung when Praise Choir combines with Wayland Baptist University this Friday and Saturday, April 4th and 5th. The LCU Praise Choir has been hard at work all semester to present an outstanding combined concert for all of West Texas to enjoy. The choir will be singing a few songs from their typical program, just as Wayland will be. At the end, they will take the stage together and sing Franz Joseph Haydn’s Nelson Mass (originally named the Missa in Angustiis, or “Mass for Troubled Times”). There will an orchestral accompaniment joining them as well. Learning a 75 page arrangement completely in Latin is no easy feat. If getting the notes and rhythms isn’t hard enough, memorizing the words is equally difficult. Because of all the hard work both choirs have invested, the concert will be unforgettable. Four LCU soloists for the mass have also been selected to bring this piece together. These include Meredith Ramirez singing Soprano, Emily Evans singing Alto, Caleb Blakeney singing Tenor, and Jonathan Dansby singing Bass. For those who would like to attend, the concerts are free. The first concert is at LCU in the McDonald-Moody Auditorium on April 4th at 7:30 PM. The second concert is at Wayland Baptist University in Wayland’s Harral Auditorium at 7:30 PM on April 5th.