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SA Previews: Community Yard Sale

April 16, 2021

Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, the sun is out, the old is gone, and the new has come. Just like nature, we clean out the old to make way for the new. That’s right, it’s time for some Spring cleaning. Whether you dread the chore of decluttering or are excited for get a fresh start, you may as well get the most from all the time you put in cleaning out your home and make a little extra spending cash from the process. You know what they say – one person’s well-loved and appreciated clothing and household items are another person’s treasure (okay, that’s not exactly what they say but “trash” just sounds weird).

Where will you sell all your previously loved goods? You’re in luck! On April 24, we are hosting our annual Community Yard Sale. This is the place to be if you want to resell some of your old clothes or if you want to go secondhand shopping. This semester on the blog, we have already discussed the importance of shopping second hand. So, if you’ve been inspired to shop ethically and desire to find some one-of-a-kind pieces, you do not want to miss this event.

SA will provide everything you need to have a pleasant shopping experience and be giving out free iced coffee and donuts. We will also have a new Community Yard Sale exclusive tote bag and SA branded sunscreen – both for free, so you will have something to carry your new purchases. All you need to bring is yourself and some cash.

If you would like to be a vendor, visit the Student Activities website for how you can purchase a table space to set up your shop. This event is open to the public, so whether you are a Liberty student, alumni, or long-time Lynchburg local, we would love to see you at our Community Yard Sale!


 

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.

Your Guide Through Guam

April 11, 2021

Imagine the warm sun hitting the sand, bright blue water, and palm trees swaying. Some may call that a vacation, but I get to call that my home.

After being born and raised in Guam, I am proud to call the beautiful island my home. Guam is located in the heart of the Western Pacific and is considered a U.S. territory. Guam has been taken over by three different colonial powers in the past 400 years: Spain, the United States, and Japan. With over 4,000 years of history left behind, there is always something new you can learn and experience.

It is the perfect destination to get away from the fast-paced life as you will be able to stop to relax and enjoy some simple living. Most will mistake Guam as a rural area where we don’t know how to speak English and live in grass huts, but Guam is so much more than our history left behind. It has become a melting pot of so many different cultures and has grown to be a bucket-list destination for everyone in the world. It is a full cultural experience that is so unique to itself that it will make you fall in love.

When you practically live in a vacation destination, you will often take for granted all the beauties the island has to offer. The hotels and resorts are great for giving you the vacation feel by the pool and spa, but if you really want to experience life as a local, you need to be ready to do a bit of exploring. The mile-long hikes and scenic waterfall trails make for such great adventures, and you are usually rewarded at the end with a nice swim to cool you down. You truly can never get bored when you are surrounded by the endless ocean, palm trees, and jaw-dropping sunsets. When the sky is lit up with the amazing colors of red and orange, it is like the cherry on top to every perfect day.

Any weekend I have free, it’s a must to grab my swimsuit and towel and head down to the beach. One of my favorite activities includes going down to Fish Eye and snorkeling alongside all the cool sea creatures and pretending to be one of them. The open waters allow me to experience so many different types of fish and habitats. If I’m lucky enough, sometimes I can catch a glimpse of some sea turtles. After a long day of paddle boarding and making new fish friends, I love to just kick back and enjoy a nice beach-side barbeque with my friends. Another must to check off on the “to-do list” would be to visit all the cool little local shops at Chamorro Village which occurs every Wednesday night. I love shopping at all the small shops and chowing on the best local cuisine while I’m there. You’re able to get the full experience with live island music playing and cultural dances being performed on the stage. My favorite thing is watching all the older couples get out on the dance floor and cha-cha like no one else is watching.

Part of getting the full experience is eating the best local foods. Each Chamorro dish you will try will be like nothing you’ve ever had before. We got all the dainty coffee shops and diners you have to hit, but personally some of the best local cuisine is actually made at fiestas where the elders have passed down their perfected recipes. The perfect fiesta plate consists of lumpia, red rice, barbeque chicken, keleguen, and finadene sauce on the side. Then to end the night with a bang, one slice of latiya will leave my stomach happy and satisfied. Just talking about it makes me drool a little! Luckily, it is very common to find a barbeque or family gathering happening every weekend that you could attend. Growing up, I was so used to being dragged to so many family gatherings where we would stay so late that I would be knocked out asleep in my parent’s lap while they continue to party on. It’s definitely the part that I miss most about being home.

Not only is the food amazing, but the people there are too. You won’t go anywhere without being greeted with a nice smile and “Håfa Adai,” or hello as they say in Chamorro. The culture is so rich and evident in everyone you will meet, and it narrows down to two of the most important things: family and respect. This means having respect of the island and every person there. This also means treating any stranger like a friend and being welcoming to any visitor. I was taught from such a young age what this looks like first-hand that I never knew any differently. These are the kind of lessons that must be passed down to the younger generations, so the culture won’t die out over time.

What’s there not to love about a never-ending time in paradise? Once you visit the first time, you will automatically fall in love and leave a part of your heart there. My love for the island is endless, and I am forever grateful that I get to share a bit of home wherever I go.

If you want to sound like a real local, here are some basic words you can say in Chamorro! 

Hello: Håfa Adai (HAW-fah-day) / Thank you: Si Yu’us ma’åse’ (see DZOO-oos mah-AW-see)

References:

https://www.visitguam.com/


 

Written by: Gaby Paulin

Gaby is a Sophomore studying Strategic Communications. Having grown up on the island of Guam, she is passionate about traveling and learning about other cultures. She loves expressing her love for people and community through her writing.

SA Previews: Drive-In Movie: Jurassic Park

April 8, 2021

Spring has sprung on campus! In typical Virginia fashion, there still might be a few chilly days here and there. For the most part, some of these days are the most beautiful that I can remember. A warm Lynchburg day unlocks a surplus of new things to do in the area. Student Activities, for instance, hosts outdoor promos and open mics on the Montview steps, we have outdoor movie nights, and even the community yard sale is around the corner. But this weather also brings about one of my personal favorite events that SA puts on, Drive-In Movie!

Last semester in the fall was our first ever drive-in movie and it is perhaps one of the best events to put on during the pandemic. This semester, we will be back and better than ever when we show Jurassic Park on Saturday, April 17, at 8:30 p.m. in the East Campus Satellite Lot. We have 250 spots for the show, so now is the time to befriend someone with a truck bed, so you and your friends can come watch a classic movie in style. The first 150 cars will get free Domino’s and Mama Crockett’s Donuts, so be sure to arrive early and secure your food and parking spot. This is sure to be a memorable night for all who attend. Don’t miss it!


 

Written by: Josiah Frisbie

Josiah enjoys writing for the blog because he believes in the power of discussing relevant topics. He wants to be challenged in his writing and research style while still growing and striving for knowledge.

SA Reviews: This is Us

April 6, 2021

Everyone loves a great story you can connect to. We all love the overcomer stories and those movies that inspire us to be better. As for most of us, we all search for shows we can relate to and feel like we can become a part of the story. In 2016, the first episode of This Is Us aired on NBC and took over the viewer audience as it quickly grew in popularity. This Is Us represents and connects so many people over different topics in which we all struggle. This show has the perfect balance of tasteful depiction of family while still incorporating the challenges every family often faces.

The show was inspired by real people, hence, why it relates to so many people. Show writer, Dan Fogelman, was asked in an interview from what and where did his inspiration come. He said, “I was in my late 30s at the time—about 38—and I was struck by how wildly different the lives of my peers could be, even though we were all the same age. I had friends who were married, some single. Some had preteen children, others none. Some were satisfied in their careers, others less so. Some had experienced great loss—of parents, of friends—others hadn’t even lost a grandparent. And I thought, I’m going to write something about all these people, all exactly the same age and born on the same day.” We can all relate to at least one or two of these statements made by Fogelman. It is no surprise that a show based off real struggles stirs up such great empathy.

This show is such a breath of fresh air in a time like 2021. The TV show has come a long way as it finishes up season five. A beautiful story has unfolded throughout each season. In season one and two, the show covers the difficulties of finding your identity. One of the characters, Randall Pearson, was both abandoned and adopted at birth by the Pearson family. He grows up with this white family struggling with why he looks different and why a lot of the other kids would pick on him. Growing up in the ‘70s was not easy for Randall, but the show tells a captivating story of him finding success even when the odds are against him. As the show progresses, his biological dad steps into his life, and the show reveals a raw relationship between Randall and his biological father.

Although we all might not be able to relate to the adversity Randall faced, we can all relate to the feeling of trying to figure out who we are in this crazy world. This was also something the rest of the characters had to deal with. Whatever the adversity, the characters have to deal with the reality of death or the simple principle of struggling from a place of success.

We see that the daughter, Kate Pearson, struggles with control issues which lead her to anxiety. She ends up getting married to a husband who develops depression, and she has to learn how to love and support him in his daily battle to just get out of bed. In season three Kate’s husband, Toby, makes his depression public, and Kate is left in this place of trying to maneuver a new marriage and fighting infertility while still being a good spouse by supporting her struggling husband. This season shows the truth of life and even the most positive people, like Toby, have no exemptions from depression. It taught me lots of different principles of helping others that may be going through depression.

Above all of this, I love this show simply because of the relationship that Jack and Rebecca share as they maneuver married life. Jack and Rebecca are the mom and dad of the show. Jack was a Vietnam Veteran and as he comes back he meets Rebecca, and they quickly fall in love. Although this show is not based on Christian morals, it doesn’t take much to see that this world is longing for a Biblical family dynamic. Jack represents what a strong but humble man is supposed to look like. He wrestles with generational sins that he must face to break the cycle, so he can better love and support his family. Rebecca represents the strong and loving woman and how that plays out in the family dynamic. Her loyalty to Jack just shows she is the glue to the whole family and even the whole show. Even in the toughest episodes of the show, this couple strives to raise their kids in a loving home. Even though they never claim to be Christians, there are so many great lessons to learn from this family and how they work hard while keeping their love for each other as the priority. In this American individualist culture, it is so refreshing to see a depiction someone that focuses on a collectivist form of family. Even though I don’t recommend finding all your life advice from this show, I think the writers do a great job of roping in the audience and teaching us all some important lessons we face in life.

References:

https://deadline.com/2017/06/this-is-us-dan-fogelman-nbc-emmys-interview-news-36-sextuplets-season-2-details-endgame-1202111888/


 

Written by Riley Anderson

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

Fighting Cynicism

April 5, 2021

Where do you want to be in five years? Odds are, if you are reading this, then you are most likely a student at Liberty University with a five-year plan and a lot of hope to make that plan a reality. Let me ask you a question; what is your plan after those five years? Life continues after that five year plan, and as it does, you will certainly experience a healthy amount of successes and failures.

If you are a student, I want to encourage you to keep in mind that life goes on after you graduate and get a job. It can be so daunting to look ahead at a full life on this planet, but there needs to be preparation in order to live the life that you desire. So many people that I talk to do not have much of a perspective of life beyond a couple years after college. I would like to encourage you to continue to look forward to the future, no matter how old you are. It should be noted that the decisions that we make now as humans will affect who we are and who we become later in life.

There are steps that need to be taken that will help fight cynicism and keep us moving forward as a great neighbor and friend to those around us. Cynicism is defined as a lack of trust in humans because they are solely driven by self-interest or desires (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). This can most clearly be seen in elderly people as there are generally only two types of them. One type is kind, giving, and full of life while the other is angry, distrustful, and likes to live life alone.

Most of us can picture one of each of these types of people. What most people don’t understand is that these people do not just appear overnight. The actions and mentality that we have now, on a daily basis, will affect who and how we are as we get older. Simplified, our current actions define our future self. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid the cynical future that seems to encompass too many people in our society. There needs to be active steps taken towards seeking out discipleship and accountability through friendships from older and younger people.

Humans are made to be in community, and in order to remain healthy, we cannot remain in isolation. There is wisdom in staying in community. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (English Standard Version Bible, 2001). Through doing life with people who are pushing us towards Christ, we can set in place good practices to help us strive towards always loving others as ourselves. The golden rule is the antithesis of cynicism. Loving God and loving others will bring forth a meaningful and happy life.

No matter what your plans for the future are, keep this knowledge at the forefront of your life. It can help keep you going in the direction that you truly desire.


 

Written by: Josiah Frisbie

Josiah enjoys writing for the blog because he believes in the power of discussing relevant topics. He wants to be challenged in his writing and research style while still growing and striving for knowledge.

Thanks For A Great 13 Years, SA!

March 31, 2021

Like most of you, my first experience with Student Activities was my freshman year. I attended a movie night on the lawn my first week at Liberty and was impressed with how well the department created an environment for students to connect with one another. A few years later, I was still in my undergrad and needing a part time job. I had always admired how SA served students and I was eager to learn more about joining their team. After volunteering for a semester, I quickly became invested and was hired my senior year. I’ve held many positions at SA, all of which have fond memories; from an event supervisor to promotions manager to my position today as director, I’ve seen so much of SA through the years. Throughout my time, we’ve grown from 50 events a year to over 80 events, revamped our calendar dozens of times, and even began the Outdoor Recreation department (originally a division of SA). I’ve had the opportunity to help change and shape this department in so many ways, but this month, all of that changes as I move on to a new career. It’s a bittersweet moment, one that forces me to reflect on the last decade. With reflecting comes a lot of gratitude and “thank yous” to all that have influenced me in leading this department over the past decade.

I’ve worked with hundreds of students and in a lot of ways, SA has become a home. We’ve spent some late nights together prepping for events, failing, succeeding, and everything in-between. I have countless stories of events that almost didn’t happen, bands canceling at the last minute, working way too many Block Party’s in the rain, and all the times I made the wrong decision. But I also have so many memories that outweigh those difficult times – memories and people that have taught me to be adaptable, patient, flexible, and to give grace and empathy. Those are the most important lessons I’ll take with me.

What I’ve always admired about SA is how it transcends time. Working at a university means so many people move on each year, but our department’s success has never hinged on one person (though I would like to believe I’ve played a small part in our immense growth the last few years). This department is a collective group of people who are willing to care and grow and change – who, when they move on, leave an imprint on our department that continues far beyond their physical time here. That’s one reason I’m sitting here writing this today – I want to thank anyone who has influenced me, who has made this department what it is, and who comes alongside us to fulfill our mission every day. Each of you help grow our community and foster the culture around us, and I’m grateful to have led this team and to have learned right beside each of you. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in leading people is that my position at the top doesn’t mean I know everything – it is actually quite the opposite. I’ve learned more from those I lead than I ever could on my own.

To our students – though I haven’t met nearly all of you, SA would be nothing without your support, encouragement, feedback, and love. You make Liberty a great place to serve and SA possible. You are why we do what we do! 

To all the event and marketing staff – you have taught me the most about team work, how to lead empathetically, and that work friendships are some of the best gifts of all. Thank you for making SA such a wonderful place to come to each day.

And to all the full-time staff I’ve worked with (this is the hardest one) – you’ve changed my life so much. You’ve seen my worst days, you’ve stepped up when I couldn’t, and you’ve trusted me to lead you well. You’re the reason I love leading people and why this job is so important to me. I wouldn’t be me without each of you.

And to anyone reading this, I want to encourage those of you who feel like change is difficult or who are feeling sad about moving on to what’s next. Maybe it’s even for those of you who aren’t fully investing in the people here. Each experience we go through comes at the most perfect time. I don’t ever think we’ll be ready for change and I don’t think I’ll ever grow to like the process of it. But as someone who sees the end of a chapter nearing, I encourage you to not lose sight of what’s right in front of you right now. Focus on where God has placed you, because that’s where He will build and shape you for your next move. Use this time to build friendships, lean on one another, and live this experience to the fullest. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Thanks for a great 13 years, SA – you’ve changed my life and I’m so lucky to have been the one to lead you. I can’t wait to continue to watch you grow.


 

Written by: Steph Ward

Steph is the Director of Student Activities. She has a B.S. in Visual Communication Arts: Graphic Design and a M.S. in Management. Steph oversees the overall calendar and vision of the Student Activities Department from promotion to execution and analysis. She also leads the Student Activities staff, comprised of 20+ full time and student worker employees.

SA Reviews: Q Union

March 29, 2021

On Friday, March 19, Student Activities was able to host Q Union for the fourth time. Q Union is an event unlike many others, as it happens on both a national and school-wide level. On the 19th, groups of young adults from around the country gathered to hear national speakers and leaders Gabrielle Odom, Annie F Downs, and Curt Thompson. Here at Liberty, we also heard from student speakers Zane Richer, Taylor Murray, and Joe Carson. This year, Q Union allowed presenters to speak on a wide array of relevant topics with the hope of having conversations about difficult aspects of today’s culture. Q was created by author and Liberty alumni Gabe Lyons, who hosted the national broadcast.

All the speakers, national and local, chose unique topics to speak on. Locally, we were able to hear from Zane Richer who argued that there is not only danger in relative truth, but also neutral truth, since no truth is really neutral. He pointed out that truth cannot be neutral because it is a person: Jesus. Instead of looking for neutral truth, we ought to filter information by seeing if it aligns with the grain of reality that God has created.

Our second student speaker, Joe Carson, shared about engaging in Christian community in a time where physical gathering is restricted. He derived his vision from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who operated an underground seminary during Nazi-run Germany when the church was state-controlled. His two main points were that believers can remain connected through vicarious representative action such as prayer for one another and finding unity in the reality of Christ.

Finally, we heard from Taylor Murray about the authenticity gap. She spoke in light of a time in her own life where she was portraying one image to the world but was feeling another way, and shared what she had learned from her experience. She pointed out how we often gravitate away from authenticity in search of it, but that we can find where we have gone wrong by evaluating our perceptions of ourselves, God, and how we think God views us.

As a part of the national broadcast, Curt Thompson had a sit-down conversation with Gabe Lyons about anxiety, and Gabrielle Odom delivered a speech on the importance of the Bible. The session that struck me the most was Annie F. Downs’ talk on how to use social media well. Social media is so new, and believers often struggle with how to use it in a way that is glorifying to God. So often, believers end up either using social media in the same way as everyone else or abandoning it altogether. Downs challenged both these notions by proposing there is a way to use social media in a meaningful way through sharing with the world what we are learning. While it is not wise to share too much about one’s private life, the speaker argued, “for social media to flourish it HAS to be personal”. Vulnerability makes social media meaningful.

All in all, Q Union was a night full of learning and good conversations. We cannot wait to see what next year’s speakers have in store!


 

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.

SA Previews: Rhett Walker

March 26, 2021

From Music City, USA to the LaHaye Event Space, Rhett Walker will grace Lynchburg with our second in-person concert of the semester on April 9th at 7:30pm. Being a rising star in the country and Christian music world, many of you have likely heard one of Rhett Walker’s songs but had no idea it was his melodic voice behind it. Most known for songs like “Believer” and “When Mercy Found Me”, Rhett will sing some familiar favorites and some songs you are sure to fall in love with.

With millions of streams on Spotify and over 350,000 monthly listeners, the Grammy nominated artist has grown in popularity since his first release back in 2012. The South Carolina native has worked with artists like Essential Worship and Propaganda, performed in historic spaces like the Grand Ole Opry, and been on joint albums with some of the biggest names in the business, including Matt Maher, Tenth Avenue North, Brandon Heath, and Chris Tomlin.

Opening for Rhett will be Madison Laine Coker of Liberty Worship Collective fame. Whether a city slicker or a good ole country boy, anyone who enjoys wholesome Gospel music is bound to love Rhett Walker. Tickets for this concert are still available starting at $10 for LU students, faculty, and staff.


 

Written by: Landen Swain

Landen believes the human experience longs to be expressed; through our art, our labor, our songs, our storytelling. As a published playwright, author, and poet, he enjoys expressing his little chapter of the human experience through his writings and is thankful that the SA blog allows him to do that. He is published in numerous magazines, literary journals, and has several plays published by Off the Wall Plays, an online play publishing house.

What we’re listening to – March 2021

March 24, 2021

March is in full swing and with that comes the promise of spring. Our staff member, Swain, has put together a playlist that’s perfect for cruising with the windows down, soaking up the sun, or anything else you might be up to. Head over to our Spotify to give it a listen!

What Living in Another Country Taught Me About Love

March 23, 2021

In my first year out of high school, I experienced the most change, challenge, and growth of my entire life. Instead of taking the traditional college route, I started college online and moved to the Dominican Republic, with nine other fresh out of high school students, to intern with a mission organization for one year.

 This is not something I ever imagined myself doing, especially not at 18 years old. I was not looking to satisfy some sort of wanderlust travel bug, and I was not looking for some grand experience. I was very content with where I was in life, but I felt the Lord calling me to go higher and deeper into His love. So, at 18 years old I moved to a Caribbean Island. 

For a year I worked in Women’s Social Work running a daily girl’s club alongside a Dominican woman named Amalfi. Amalfi is kind and strong, and she has a passion for sharing the Gospel and building relationships. Every day, elementary and middle school girls would come to our site to have Bible lessons, prayer, and work on crafts or school projects. My mind and journal are filled with countless memories of the days I spent with those girls. If I close my eyes, I can very vividly remember the way the cool breeze felt coming through the windows as I awoke from a mid-day siesta to the sound of little girls who arrived to class early, whispering, “Sarita! Sarita!” (praise God for countries that value naps!) Hundreds of these memories are stored away in my heart like I can reach out and touch them. But most of all, I can still feel the tangible presence of Love. 

My life in the Dominican Republic was simple, my days were filled with people and conversations. There were many days when all I did was just sit next to someone and talk. We spent hours in people’s homes, sitting on their porches drinking coffee, and hearing about their lives. By most people’s standards, this may seem unproductive, but my simple days of just being with people taught me so much about who Jesus is. He is Immanuel – God With Us. He is Love incarnate.

With all the power that God has and the many ways He could have saved us, He chose to do so by dwelling among us. He came in the flesh to have a relationship with us. I think that life is a lot simpler than we make it out to be. There are so many things that we want to do and accomplish, and we work towards these things by making ourselves busy with activity and often neglecting the people around us. We forget that the Lord accomplished His plan of salvation by sending His Son to be with us so that by His grace and His work on the cross we could be with Him for eternity. 

To quote Bob Goff – “What better way to live than to just be.” We were created to be in relationship with God and relationship with each other. Dominicans excel at relationships. Being both a collective and relationship-oriented culture, relationships form the basis of all areas of life, from school to business to religion. Life is structured around relationships. I watched as people lived out the Gospel by just showing up and being present. Whether someone was experiencing joy or pain, the community came around them to share in their suffering or celebration. They shared what they had, their possessions, their knowledge, their time, but most of all they just shared themselves. Love shows up, even if it shows up empty-handed. Ultimately, love is not a physical possession to be given, Love is a person, and He dwelt among us.

Living in another country taught me a lot, but every single day, the memories of my time there remind me to love others by being present and showing up. I have not come anywhere close to perfecting this, and I learn more every day about loving others well from my friends and family who love me well. The Lord is so kind to remind me daily that, despite my failures, my flaws, and my inconsistencies, He keeps showing up. Because He is Immanuel – God With Us.


 

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.