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Connection Piece: Words of Wisdom

September 24, 2021

I write this blog with tear-filled eyes as I reflect on how blessed I am. This piece has been inspired by the wisdom that can come from a grandparent who has walked with the Lord for years and years. I was inspired to sit down with my grandparents and ask them questions about their lives and how they have seen God working throughout the years. I know many students no longer have this blessing to sit and talk with their grandparents. Yet, I hope this can inspire and help us glean wisdom as I walk through the interview with my grandparents.

For context, my grandparents have worked multiple different jobs through the years as well as upkeeping their farm in North Carolina. They are both strong believers who love their families and are heavily active in their local church to this day. Below are the questions I asked and the answers I received from my grandparents. They responded not only to me, but as if they were speaking to the student body.

Question 1: How has God shown his faithfulness in your life?

            My Pawpaw answered that there are many ways God has shown himself to be faithful. He emphasized that God has never failed him over the years and stated, “all the blessings He poured out on me: salvation, my family, health, job, and home.” My Nana answered, “God has always been faithful to me; just to wake me up in the morning and give me breath and a blessed life. Most of all: salvation, mercy, and grace which I don’t deserve.” Their hope, for us as a student body, is that we constantly reflect on the faithfulness of God in our own pasts and let that remembrance of his faithfulness lead us.

Question 2: Why do you still choose to believe in God after these many years?

            I wrote this question with hope that it would encourage the person who may doubt their faith. Even as a ministry major, I have asked the tough questions about God and His existence, so I wanted to ask my grandparents as well. I asked my Nana, how her belief in God has sustained for so many years and she said, “How could I not believe in God after all these years. I could not make it every day without Him helping me through the hard times. I am so blessed. With Him everything is possible”. My grandpa said, “his love for me, and looking back over the years, he has never failed me”. Their answers were such an encouragement for my heart and personal walk with the Lord. I know we all face tough days; half of college is made of fun times and the other half seems to be hard ones, but this reminder made me reflect on the faithfulness of God in my own college journey.

Question 3: What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

            I know this is such a cliché question, but Scripture is one of God’s ways of speaking to us, and when I asked my grandparents this question God spoke through these verses to me. My grandpa chose Psalm 37:23-24, “A person’s steps are established by the Lord, and he takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord supports him with his hand.” This passage blows me away and, in a time, where college is filled with so many uncertainties like: where will I work, who will I marry, will I finish my assignments, or will I be able to keep up financially? I can trust that God is leading me, and nothing is by mistake. Then my grandma answered and chose 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The she said that this has been the standard that she tries to live by. She also said that she feels like Psalm 139 waswritten for her and reading it left me speechless of God’s perfect love shown through this chapter. I encourage you to give that chapter a read and hear God’s word for us!

Question 4: What advice would you give to a student getting ready to start their career?

            For many students (myself included), it can be easy to worry about the future. Thinking about a career can be especially overwhelming, so I asked my grandparents for any advice they would give to these students. My grandpa said, “Always put God first. Never make a decision without going to Him in prayer. Seek Him first in all things and be sure to give God all the glory.” It was encouraging to be reminded that our focus is supposed to be on God in the first place and to never grow tired of waiting on the Lord. Then my grandma said, “Trust God to put you where He wants you in His will. I would not have you being out of God’s will for anything. Always know God is in charge. He has a special plan for you so much better than I can imagine. I pray he gives you guidance and wisdom to make decisions easy for you. God is good all the time; all the time God is good.” Remember, this was my Nana’s advice addressed to each person that reads these words (yes, you).

Question 5: What advice in general would you give college students?

            The college years are some of the most formative years of a person’s life. My grandparents have watched as I have grown and developed through my time here at Liberty. I know their answers were both prayed through and grounded in Scripture as they thought how to answer in a way that would help each of us in a time where life seems so busy, so fast, and so vital. When my grandpa was asked this question he said, “Do not get drawn into the things of the world. Satan will try to show you how good things could be if you follow him, but that “good” would be short-lived. So, my best advice is not to be fooled by Satan.” We all face temptations, but rarely do we consider these temptations to be a war for our attention. This warning to give God our attention and give him our life and our desires has been such a help to me. My grandma then answered, “Take college serious, but don’t take it so serious that you miss out on the whole experience. Life is short, not to you, young people, but it is too us older ones. Enjoy it all the good times and the bad.  Especially the first semester. Take the education of living life away from home and learning how to live it well.  Pray, pray, and pray some more.”. I cannot emphasize this enough. Through your time at Liberty make sure to take advantage of every moment and ever event. Whether it be Bingo nights, movie nights, or something as simple as just hall hangouts. Take advantage of every moment and spend time making memories and learning to love the people around you. The true shame would be missing out on what God has for us in this present moment.

Question 6: What is one life-changing lesson you have learned?

            Wow, this question was one that hit me personally. As I wrote down this question, I thought of all the limitless lessons that must make up the precious lives of my grandparents who have loved and followed the Lord for years. They have committed their lives and work to their heavenly Savior, so I can only image the trials that accompanied them through the years and allowed them to learn such things. My grandpa made the simple, but ground-shaking statement, “I can do nothing without the Lord”. I have seen this to always be true in my life. The quicker we learn this humbling truth, the faster we will lean on the Lord in complete surrender to His will for us. My grandma then followed up saying her lesson learned in life is, “We all have strongholds. I always thought that strongholds were like bad habits or bad choices. It is so much more. It is letting Satan get in your mind and influencing you to doubt Gods love for us, or God’s word, or the truth of the Bible. Don’t be afraid to let your request be made known. Pray for everything – even the little things. Don’t let Satan in. Always be on guard. Satan is on the prowl and looking for our weaknesses. Trust God. Nothing is too hard for God.”. I had never thought of a stronghold in my life simply being Satan trying to influence my thoughts. This has shaped, as I hope it will for many of you, how I think about my walk with Christ as I combat strongholds in my life.

            I hope this helps you, and in turn, those around you. I hope each of you see and know that the generations that have come before us have so much to teach us. Although they are not perfect, they want to help us. I want to thank my grandparents for sharing their wisdom with the student body at Liberty University. These words of wisdom have certainly helped me. May we always pray, pray, and pray all the more for the Lord to lead us.

References

The Holy BIBLE: CHRISTIAN Standard Bible: Holman Bibles. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017.


 

Written by Riley Anderson

Riley is a junior majoring in Christian Leadership and Church Ministry with a minor in Biblical Studies.

Deep Dive: Cruella

September 16, 2021

She’s cruel. She’s a devil. If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will. She’s ruthless. She’s a menace. She’s… likeable? Cruella de Vil has been hailed as a puppy-killing – but fashionable – villain since the 1950s. Now it seems that this infamous character has taken the path of many re-told Disney villain stories and become more of a quasi-relatable antihero.

The Cruella seen in the 2021 film is vastly different from the original in Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians in 1956. Smith painted Cruella as a married socialite who was incredibly spoiled and even had a pet cat. Though later versions diverge from this original portrayal, her taste for fur coats has always been present to some degree. The next version of the cruel devil came about in the early 1960s. Animator Marc Davis brought to life the crazed, wiry-haired terror who was always shrouded in green smoke.

The next Cruella made her grand entrance with Glenn Close’s 1996 version of the voguish, successful, and humorous icon. This was the first time an audience experienced a Cruella that was not just evil, but entertaining. This portrayal of a likable and witty “villain” was the first step in the direction of a relatable (or at least understandable) Cruella. She is someone we hate to love and love to hate; we like her because we aren’t supposed to. This concept of Cruella is exactly what is shown in the newest movie.

If you have not seen “Cruella” (2021), this is your official “spoiler warning”. Emma Stone’s Cruella is young. She’s driven, filled with revenge, and as the movie itself emphasizes so many times, a genius. Her tragic past combined with her current struggles and wasted talent create a feeling of sympathy for her. It is easy to root for her and want her to win her personal battle against The Baroness. That is not to say there are an abundance of redeeming qualities, agreeableness, or justification for some of her actions, but it still helps to understand her as a person.

She is originally shown as a young girl named Estella with a knack for getting in trouble. Her problematic tendencies are attributed to what seems to be an alter ego. In the end, it turns out that Estella was the true alter ego in order to hide Cruella from the world. There is something to be said about the psychological stability of Cruella, but that would need an entirely separate blog.

The majority of negative audience reviews revolved around the portrayal of Cruella as someone whose horrible actions are somehow okay simply because there is an explanation of her motivation. The negative opinions focused on Cruella being humanized, villains being redeemed even without any redeeming qualities, and the harm of presenting Cruella as a role model. However, Cruella was never intended to be morally complex. She objectively does bad things. She was never intended to be a good role model. That would defy the whole essence of her being. By inviting viewers into her mind, it helps to understand her, not support her. This movie shows that evil may still be plain evil, but things are not always so black and white (pun intended) as they may seem.  

A takeaway from this newfound depth is to not form preconceived notions or a personal bias on someone or something based solely on the one popular narrative. Since the first incarnation of this character, she has been a puppy-killer, a wicked woman, an uncaring and cold-hearted villain. With other versions, particularly 2021’s first-person account, it is shown that there is more to every story. Learning more about a person’s story can have eye-opening realizations to their personal desires, goals, and motivators.

A huge theme to acknowledge in this film is the idea of nature vs. nurture. Estella was raised by a caring mother who always tried to “love her into shape” as Cruella herself states it. Try as she might, Estella could never quite tame those wild inclinations. Near the end of the movie, it is revealed that the stone-cold, heartless Baroness is the real birth mother of Cruella. The strong-willed ambition of The Baroness is evident in Cruella, and the cutthroat ruthlessness peaks out at times, but ultimately Estella makes a sacrifice to be with her mother, leaving Cruella her rightfully earned riches and top spot in the fashion world. However, she decides to ultimately spare the life of The Baroness, which is notably opposite the decision of the Baroness concerning Estella’s adoptive mother all those years ago.

Our protagonist’s final visit to the fountain to speak with the mother who raised her completes the life of Estella. Cruella steps into her full, extravagant personality, leaving the behaved Estella behind, but never forgetting the love and guidance that shaped her into the successful woman she became.

So, do we become who we are destined to be based on our DNA and genetic make-up? Or do we make our choices based on the environments that raised us? Come watch “Cruella” on Friday, September 24 on the Commons Lawn and decide for yourself.


 

Written by: Anna Pender

Anna is a Senior Strategic Communications major. She is thankful to have the opportunity to write for the blog because it gives her a chance to explore and write about topics and events that she is passionate about and that are relevant to the world. She loves getting to be creative and share her personality through writing.

Deep Dive: A Quiet Place Part II

September 10, 2021

In 2018, a film came out that presented a new perspective for the horror genre. Directed by John Krasinski, A Quiet Place tells the story of a family living in an apocalyptic era, where alien creatures hunt based on sound. The filmfollows your typical American family, the Abbotts, as they work desperately to survive in silence.

Perhaps one of the most unique features of A Quiet Place is its utilization of a disabled character and AmericanSign Language (ASL). Having one of the lead characters be deaf was not just a coincidence or creative choice, it was an intentional part of the film. A Quiet Place is themed around silence, so what better way to explore a silent world than through those who have already learned how to navigate the world in silence.

For John Krasinksi, who also starred in A Quiet Place, casting a deaf actress to play a deaf character was a non-negotiable. Millicent “Millie” Simmons is an actress, and she is deaf. She has acted in other movies, such asWanderlust, but she is most known today for her stunning performance in both A Quiet Place, and A Quiet Place: Part II.

It was so refreshing and encouraging to me to see a film feature a disabled actress and portray this disability so beautifully. While I myself do not have a disability, there are many people in my life that I love deeply who have a disability of some kind. Every person is made fearfully and wonderfully in the image of God. As followers of Jesus, we should treat everyone, regardless of ability or disability, with the dignity and honor that they have as image bearers. Wecome across people with many types and levels of disabilities every day, and our entertainment should reflect the same. Roughly 600,000 people in the United States alone are deaf or hard of hearing. This may seem like a small number compared to the population, but each person who was counted as a part of that number is a real person made in the image of God and they deserve representation in entertainment.

It was important to Krasinski to honor deaf culture and those in the deaf community, so looked to Millie to help him understand what it is like to live without sound. The cast and crew all learned ASL so that they could communicate,and most dialogue in the film was done in ASL. During the filming process, he would check in with Millie to make sure what he was directing was as accurate a depiction as possible of what it means to be deaf. Much of the film’s cameraand audio work was inspired by Millie’s life. As you watch both the first and second films, you will notice thatwhenever the camera is focused on Millie’s character, all sound becomes muffled, sound does not disappear, justbecomes very muted. This decision was made based off a conversation that Krasinski had with Millie’s mother. Millie is deaf, but she does not live in complete silence. She hears the world at a very low, muffled level. So, what you see Millie’s character experience withsound is truly a depiction of what Millie experiences in her real life.

Perhaps the most beautiful part of the inclusivity of American Sign Language and deaf culture in the film is the way that it is portrayed as a strength. Living with a disability is not easy and of course comes with challenges, but this absolutely does not mean that there is not value, strength, and beauty to be found within a disability. Ever since the fall,people with disabilities of any kind have had to fight to be included and valued as an asset rather than seen as adisadvantage. But, in the lives of the Abbott family, the fact that their daughter is deaf becomes their greatest advantagein this apocalyptic world. Their prior experience with sign language gave them the ability to communicate in a world where life depends on silence. I do not want to give away any spoilers for the first film, but Millie’s deafness plays a huge role in the family’s survival. What most of the world may consider a weakness, is the greatest strength that thisfamily has, other than their love for each other.

Overall, I think that this film did a great job honoring deaf culture and those in the deaf community, from thecast and crew all learning sign language, hiring a deaf actress to play a deaf character, and portraying disability as a strength. Thank you to the cast and crew of A Quiet Place for showing the world that “disabled” does not have to mean “disadvantaged”.

Resources:

https://www.thewrap.com/quiet-place-star-john-krasinski-on-learning-sign-language-for-the-filmexclusive-video/

 


 

Written by: Sarah Day

Sarah is a junior majoring in Youth Ministry. Sarah enjoys writing for the blog because she loves exploring the ways that the simplest things in our lives impact us in the most meaningful ways. She is passionate about connecting with people, talking about what truly matters and baking.

When Things Don’t Go As Planned

September 3, 2021

I want you to picture this. It’s last Spring and Student Activities is hosting an Outdoor Open Mic. We meet at Montview to start setting up, and as we try to use the elevators, we get stopped by none other than a slew of security guards. As it turned out, another event on campus was hosting princesses (how cool is that), and we were not able to have Open Mic outside because it could pose a potential security threat. So, we moved it inside. It turned out to be no big deal, (and the girls working that night ended up giving a pretty spectacular performance of “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift) but in the moment it felt quite stressful to have our plans turned upside down.
I’ve found myself in situations like these loads of times; you probably have too. Jobs you thought you were going to have, friendships or relationships you thought would turn out differently, plans falling through: life is full of unexpected circumstances. Sometimes the stakes are smaller, like switching the location of an Open Mic, but sometimes they’re much bigger. The unexpected isn’t all bad either, sometimes the most joyful things in life are surprises. Think of surprise parties, or new friends, or finding out you’re going to be an aunt or uncle.

The unexpected can be hard though. I consider myself to be an easygoing person (most of the time), but to an extent, I think we all desire an amount of control or at least certainty in our lives. From a psychological standpoint, certainty fulfills our inherent need for safety (Siegel). Beyond that, from a Biblical standpoint, we can see that this desire actually comes from a sinful nature. We feel the need for control and safety because we lack trust in He who is able to control it all.

University of Texas professor, Raj Raghunathan argues that losing control can make people happier. He points out that the desire for control creates conflict, heightens blood pressure when that level of control is not attained, and it causes us to sacrifice other things that would bring about happiness (Raghunathan). He suggests people learn to embrace uncertainty and enjoy whatever life brings to the table. And from a Christian perspective, I would say that we should learn to trust whatever God has for us.

My English 102 professor (shoutout Dr. Muller) once said something quite profound that has really stuck with me for the past couple of years. He said something along the lines of, “Why would we try to build our own lives when we can place them in the hands of He who knows how to truly build life?” God created life. He knows how it ought to be lived in its best and most pure sense! Now, this does not always make it easy to place our lives in hands we cannot tangibly see (and it’s okay to ask why or be sad for a time), but we can choose to trust Romans 8, that God really does work all things together for the good of those who love Him and find freedom in letting go.

So, in this case, God working things out for good looked like having a smaller, but more energetic Open Mic. In other unexpected times, it’s looked like having the best Summer in a position I never would have picked for myself and sometimes, it is not knowing why God has done the things He has. So, when things don’t go as planned how great is it that we do not have to have control but can turn to Him who has a plan for all things?

References:

http://changingminds.org/explanations/needs/control.htm

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_losing_control_make_you_happier


 

Written by: Courtney Stone

Courtney is a Business Administration: Digital Marketing and Advertising major. She enjoys writing for the blog as a way to explore relevant topics and grow in written communication.

Block Party Premier Sponsors

August 24, 2021

This year, our Block Party has an awesome lineup of premier vendors that are supporting our event! We wanted to give you a rundown of who they are and what they do, so here they are:

Premier Sponsors

YES (Your Event Source) – based out of Charlotte, NC, YES has been a part of our SA events for many years now. They provide the attractions you love, like the Ferris wheel, the mechanical bull, Meltdown and more! We love working with them and having them be a part of our events, especially Block Party.

90.9 FM The Light – the Contemporary Christian Music station based in Lynchburg that you probably listen to on your drive to and from work. They play the best of the Christian music charts right now and consistently support our events by advertising for us.

Domino’s – who doesn’t love some consistently good pizza?! Domino’s is another business we work with often, especially at the beginning of the year. Bring your Flames cash – they’re one of the only food trucks that will accept it at BP.

Virginia Army National Guard – defending our freedoms since 1607, the Virginia Army National Guard recognizes the importance of education. They offer many assistance programs to help pay tuition costs so stop by their BP booth and talk to a recruiter to find out more.

Truist – formed by the merger of BB&T and SunTrust, Truist is a financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities. In an effort to do just that, Truist will be offering financial advice to students at their BP booth so make sure to stop by.

Bikes Unlimited – a premier bicycle shop in the heart of downtown Lynchburg, Bikes Unlimited is your one stop shop for bike rentals, repairs, and shopping. Get your helmets ready because this year they will be having free bike demos at their BP booth!

So there you have it! See you August 28 for some good coffee, pizza, and amazing attractions!

The World of Coca Cola

August 17, 2021

We are proud to announce that Coca-Cola is the title sponsor for Block Party once again this year! We have partnered with Coke for the past few years at Block Party and are incredibly thankful to continue our relationship with the company.

Did you know that the company was founded in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia? Today, if you go to Atlanta you will find the World of Coca-Cola. The world of Coca-Cola opened on August 3, 1990 and has grown into a sprawling museum that has welcomed over 24 million guests and counting.

The World of Coca-Cola will take you on an adventure of the five senses. You will be able to walk through Coca-Cola history and visually experience a 3-D film highlighting Coca-Cola’s secret formula. Your ears will experience the sounds of the Coca-Cola bottling plant, and your nose will experience the aromas of different ingredients as you go through Coca-Cola’s “Scent Discovery” experience. Here you will learn how Coca-Cola uses the anatomy of smell to craft their beverages. Lastly, your taste buds will be taken on a global adventure in the “Taste It” exhibit where you will be able to try the different Coca-Cola products from around the world. If you haven’t had enough, at the end of the tour, you are given the chance to take Coca-Cola home with you at their store filled with branded merchandise.

At Student Activities, we are all about crafting immersive experiences for students to remember, similar to what Coca-Cola has created through the World of Coca-Cola! So, grab your friends and join us at Block Party on Saturday, August 28 to sample some Coca-Cola products while you enjoy live music, local food vendors, rides and more!

References: https://www.worldofcoca-cola.com/

Let’s Be Friends!

August 13, 2021

Summer is almost over and it’s time to head back to school. While this is a fun transition, it can be intimidating too. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or will be stepping onto campus for the first time, everyone wants to know and be known by people. Maybe you have a super tight friend group, maybe you have some friends that you haven’t kept up with very well, or maybe you don’t know a single soul. No matter where you stand, friendship is important, so I think it’s time we all had a refresher on how to make and keep friends. 

  1. Be bold! I don’t know about you, but I am always scared to talk to strangers. Every friendship has to start somewhere though, right? Try complimenting someone you’ve never met before! Or, this may sound creepy, but eavesdrop on the people around you and hop into the conversation: it’s a great way to meet people and an easy transition into conversation. There might be some awkward moments along the way, but just keep in mind that people have short memories. No one is going to remember one weird interaction after a few weeks (maybe even a few hours).
  2. Key words: simple and random. You don’t have to plan super fun or big things to have fun times with friends. Some of my favorite memories from college thus far have been card game nights with my friends. The important thing is that you make the time quality; it doesn’t necessarily matter what you do. One of my friends and I grab one grocery store item we’ve been wanting to try and go watch the sunset every other Thursday: random is good! So invite some people to go snack shopping with you, or come to a Bingo Night, go Pokémon Go hunting, learn pickle ball! Whatever you do just make it a good time.
  3. Use technology intentionally. We live in the 21st century; I hate to say it, but technology use with friends is probably necessary. However, with so many people to keep up with, technology can be daunting and make you want to ghost just about everyone. Something that I’ve found helpful is to not have full text-conversations with people you could see face to face. If you want to talk to someone about something and they’re within a 10-mile radius, maybe use your phone to set up a time to hang out. Long distance friendships are a little harder, but if you want to keep that person in your life, it’s a good rule of thumb to at least check in every other week.
  4. Learn their language. While it would certainly be a sign of sure friendship to learn a different language for a friend who speaks one, I am talking about learning to speak people’s love languages. I know there are five popular ones, but truly everyone feels loved differently. If you want to be a good friend, learn to show love in the way people want to be shown love rather than in the way you are natural at giving it. This might take a little bit of work and learning, but this is a way to show your friends how much they mean to you.

So, while this is definitely not a complete guide to become the best friend ever or have the most friends ever, these are some helpful tips I’ve learned along the way. Community is so awesome when you find great friends, and even more so when you are a great friend. Good luck out there and happy friending!


 

Written by: Courtney Stone

Courtney is a Business Administration: Digital Marketing and Advertising major. She enjoys writing for the blog as a way to explore relevant topics and grow in written communication.

What we’re listening to: August

August 6, 2021

August’s playlist is brought to you by our supervisors Walker and Courtney! You’ll find a combination of fun upbeat summer songs mixed with a few that are more relaxing and mellow. Enjoy their selections as the summer winds down and you prepare to return to Lynchburg.

Block Party Artists

July 30, 2021

SA Preview: Block Party

Summer was fun and we have all made our memories that we will hold forever, but school is back. Now we get to come together and make new memories in this new semester. The campus is buzzing with new life and there is no better way to start off the Fall semester than with one of the campus’ biggest events: Block Party.

This semester is the start of a new year and we have over 70 events planned for this year just to help each of you feel connected and meet new friends. Whether you are a freshman coming in or a sixth-year senior, Block Party is the place to be. The event takes place on August 28th at 4 p.m., and there will be free giveaways and fun rides for everyone to enjoy. Bring your hall and bring your friends because we will have multiple food vendors, and a number of clubs representing themselves and giving out fun prizes. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, we will be having artists perform the whole time.  There will be five artists/bands performing that day, so make sure to come see what all the hype is about. Let’s get to know the artist though:


FLAME

9 p.m. / Spotify / Instagram

FLAME is a Grammy nominated artist and will be our Headliner for the night. This Christian hip-hop artist has brought a new sound that is capturing everyone’s attention. He will be wrapping up our show and trust us when we say come ready to get hype and dance the whole night with your friends. 


Aaron Cole

8 p.m. / Spotify / Instagram

Everyone knows the best concerts have some of the best performers and Aaron Cole is known for his presence on the stage. He is a young new rap artist that is quickly making a name for himself having his songs used by ESPN and Netflix. Needless to say, you are not going to want to miss him once he hits the stage.   


Apollo Ltd.

7 p.m./ Spotify / Instagram

Don’t like being labeled? Well neither do these guys as they make their own sound that can be recognized anywhere. This band has a mix of alternative and pop feel with a bit of rock energy. There is no doubt that this group’s sound will bring a lively and easy-to-dance-to concert. Make sure you and your friends get here to see these guys live.


RICHLIN

6p.m./ Spotify / Instagram

 From a small town in Oregon to the big stage, RICHLIN has made a name for himself with his modern Christian pop sound that everyone loves. His heart is to make Jesus’ name known to all the nations, and he does so through his creative lyrics that gets everyone on their feet. Make sure you show up and you come ready to start hitting the download button when you fall in love with his sound.


Scout Powell

5 p.m./ Spotify / Instagram

A fellow Flame with a voice that demands the attention of her audience. Scout Powell has deep roots in the world of music, and by no means is trapped to just one genre. She is a mix of modern rock with a little bit of country. You will not want to miss it as she kicks the night off.

We cannot think of a better way to kick off this semester than with each of these artists putting on one of the most hype Block Parties yet! So, bring your friends, win free stuff, and come ready to make some unforgettable memories, because we’ll bring the fun, all you have to do is bring yourself. As we prepare for this event, we cannot wait to see the campus come back to life with all the fun events we have planned, but this has to be one of the best events we get to do. So, come ready to make memories with some of your best friends and we will see you there.


Written by Riley Anderson

Riley is a junior majoring in Christian Leadership and Church Ministry with a minor in Biblical Studies.

BanAnna Bread

July 23, 2021

Eating healthy can seem like a daunting task. Most of us want to do it, but we don’t really want to eat the things deemed healthy. It can be difficult to make sure we always get the correct portion of fruits and vegetables and ensure the proper ratios of carbs and dairy… and let’s not forget about the sweets. It is typically because of that sweet tooth that healthy habits fail. Don’t worry, there is a sweet treat that satisfies the sugary cravings while still meeting that fruit quota. And it’s easy to make!
Healthier changes can easily be incorporated into a daily lifestyle. I started with fruit. I was not too thrilled about saying no to PopTarts so often, but I did what needed to be done: I bought bananas. This is one of the few fruits I will eat and enjoy. I can handle some fruits depending on their preparation, but mostly I cannot stand the texture of fruits. Bananas seem to have a controversial texture with people hating them because they are too stringy, but I surprisingly have no issue here. Bananas seemed like the best way to slowly introduce healthier eating to my life.

I try to eat one everyday but have recently been slacking. However, I got a sudden rush of motivation to be incredibly healthy the other day and took off toward the kitchen. I reached for the bunch of bananas hanging on the fruit holder, grabbed the one I wanted, and tried to break it from the bunch. Unfortunately, the one I grabbed was a tad overripe and I may have slightly squished it. In this depressing turn of events, not only did the banana I want not rip away from the bunch, all the other bananas were bumped around and ripped.

I was now staring at four bananas all detached from their tops, slowly peeling themselves as they fell. After getting myself together, I did what any reasonable adult in this situation would have done: called my mom. After following her advice of putting them in a plastic bag and into the fridge, I ate my one semi-overripe banana in sadness. Then a lightbulb went off. I had heard once that old(ish) bananas are perfect for banana bread. So I decided to make some.

After quick research, the gathering of ingredients, and an internal monologue for motivation, I began this baking endeavor. Keep in mind, the closest I have ever come to baking something is pressing play on The Great British Baking Show, so my mind was expecting disaster. The task itself was thankfully a breeze. I mixed and added and stirred everything until it surprisingly, and very fortunately, looked just like the picture before putting it in the oven and waiting. 

The waiting was by far the worst part. I distracted myself for nearly 50 minutes before the oven beeped. To my utmost shock, I took out the most beautiful bread loaf I had ever seen in my life. It was perfect. Could it taste like sand? The chances were still high. Once it had cooled enough to eat, my family and I all had a piece. I am astounded to report that the entire thing was eaten in less than 36 hours. It was absolutely delicious. Since I had such success in this spontaneous banana-saving adventure, I have decided to share the recipe so that everyone else can have a backup banana plan.


Ingredients

3 bananas (mashed)

⅓ cup melted butter

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 *small* pinch of salt

½ cup sugar

1 egg (beaten)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cups flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter bread tin/pan.
  2. Mash bananas with fork, stir in melted butter.
  3. Add baking soda, salt, sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract and mix. Stir in flour.
  4. Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 minutes
  5. Use toothpick to make sure batter is cooked in middle

 

Do you see that? Basically five steps! Contrary to popular baking belief, I was not exact in any of these measurements. Just add more of whatever you think your batter needs. The amounts of sugar and bananas (and whether or not to add nuts or chocolate chips) are definitely up for interpretation. This recipe was easy to make, turned out perfect, and tasted amazing. If I can do it without any planning or experience, then I fully believe that anyone else can too. I hope this banana bread brings you a fun activity, a use for your borderline rotting fruit, and a tasty treat.


 

Written by: Anna Pender

Anna is a Senior Strategic Communications major. She is thankful to have the opportunity to write for the blog because it gives her a chance to explore and write about topics and events that she is passionate about and that are relevant to the world. She loves getting to be creative and share her personality through writing.