July 9, 2020
I am always jealous of people who seemingly get lost between the words on the page of a good book. I have never been much of a leisurely reader; it has always felt like work. Even when diving into something easily digestible, I find my mind running with concepts my eyes are unpacking from the page. All this is to say that I rarely read books, and frequently use the excuse of not having enough time, or simply not wanting to read or challenge my mind, as I have been in school for nearly the past 20 years. Well, I am officially done with schooling, and have found that I have more time on my hands than I can fill with mindful and intentional activities. So, in the spirit of continual learning, spiritual growth, and simply creating more healthy ways to spend the weekend, rather than watching the newest binge-worthy TV show, I picked up a book I received as a birthday present two years ago: “You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit” by James K.A. Smith.
Smith, a professor of philosophy at Calvin College, has been writing his philosophical and theological observations on human “creaturehood” and Christ in culture for many years. His work ranges from textbook style examinations of worship, liturgical practices, and the religious nature of politics, to a more digestible version of these works in “You Are What You Love”.
“You Are What You Love” is an in depth look at human nature; our nature to love things and to continue to change what we love, as well as the importance of examining and understanding your loves to ensure that your life is worshipful to our Creator. In a world where mankind is continually pushed to learn and grow in intelligence, Smith argues that it is not the intellectual knowledge that defines a person, but rather what and how they love. Smith poses the question, which defies what most philosophers pursue, “What if, instead of starting from the assumption that human beings are thinking things, we start from the conviction that human beings are first and foremost lovers? What if the center and seat of the human person is found not in the heady regions of the intellect but in the guy-level regions of the heart?”.
Throughout the remainder of the book, Smith addresses human tendencies in life, worship, and engaging in culture. He challenges the reader to review where their desires lay, and how it is likely that the truest worship they are expressing is not to God on Sunday mornings, but rather in their daily life to the objects, goals, and ideals that they love.
When taking this in, I was immediately made aware of the areas in my life where I channel more energy, time, and care in than my discipleship to Christ. This book is a great tool for reevaluating not only the way that you look at worship and its place in your daily life, but also the things that you may have been worshiping without even knowing. But don’t worry, the book doesn’t end there. Smith dives into liturgical practices like prayer, song, confession, and baptism, and how these are not just things we do, but rather vessels of worship that are gifts from God for our lives here on Earth.
Simply put, Smith addresses the seemingly uniform fashion in which the church views worship, challenging the reader to search “worship” on google images. While that can be a holy form of worship, Smith argues that man is propelled by love. Love of something, whether it be your new gadget, car, food, gym time, or baking that next loaf of sourdough, where you spend the most time and energy are likely the things you love most. After reading through “You Are What You Love”, readers are left with lots to siphon through as well as some internal processes and habits to think through. So, if you’re in the market for a book that’s easy to digest, and has big thoughts on worship and habits, check out James K.A. Smith’s “You Are What You Love”.
Smith, J. K. (2016). You are what you love: The spiritual power of habit. Grand Rapids, MI, MI: Brazos Press, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Written by: Clayton Copper
Clayton is the Marketing Coordinator of Student Activities. He has a B.S. in Business Administration: Economics and an M.B.A. Clayton oversees the graphic and video team as well as assisting in various event logistics.
July 7, 2020
Summer is heating up and we are back with more music for you to enjoy while soaking in the longer days, and shorter nights. From Jordy Searcy to Childish Gambino, we put together a fun mix just for you! Happy summer!
July 2, 2020
The feeling you get thinking about your first day of college is quite nostalgic. Many of you were dropped off for the first time, in a place that was unfamiliar, not knowing what the future would hold. Move in week brought bittersweet feelings – you’re nervous leaving home for the first time yet excited for the next stage of life. College is one of the most pivotal times in your entire life, as you learn to navigate some of the best experiences and greatest challenges life offers. Jump four years and you’re sitting at graduation thinking of all that Liberty means to you – a place you’ll always call home, good lessons you’ve learned, professors who cared about your success, late nights, and most importantly, the lasting friendships you’ve made along the way. But it doesn’t have to end there. Liberty becomes a place you can come home to, and we’re here to join you as you journey from a student to an alumni, a full 360 experience!
That is why Student Activities is proud to announce that starting this fall, we will begin overseeing Homecoming weekend. We’re passionate about cultivating relationships and fostering community among students throughout their time here at Liberty, and what perfect way to further that mission by continuing to engage with you as alumni! We can’t wait to have you back, and hope you’ll join us October 9-10, 2020 to celebrate your coming home.
Homecoming 2020 has a lot in store – I’d check out our website for an exhaustive list of what to expect; events including Flames Football vs. Louisiana-Monroe, the carnival, meeting deans and other notable alumni, bonfire, Hockey vs. Syracuse, the parade, and more. Grab your friends and family and come back to the mountain! We highly encourage you to register early to lock in the best things the weekend has to offer. Anyone who registers by July 31 will receive a branded scarf or blanket for you (and your group). Those who register by September 4 will guarantee that each member of their group receives a Homecoming branded t-shirt and one tote for the group (as seen on our Registration page). Early registrants will also get first opportunities at tickets like football, theater, concerts, and more. We guarantee there’s something for every member of your family, so I hope you join us and make 2020 come alive!
Visit liberty.edu/homecoming for a full list of events and details you’ll need to know for your weekend on campus. I encourage you to check out our FAQ page to help answer any questions you may have right away! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (855) 222-8836. Registration is open now – we’ll see you in October!
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.
June 30, 2020
The Downtown Lynchburg Association announced a gift card launching soon that can be used at a number of downtown stores, restaurants, and on other activities. You really can’t go wrong with this gift; and if played right, it can benefit the giver as well. Below I listed some of my favorite places where you can use your gift!
If you’re interested in being the first to know when this gift card becomes available, you can sign up for their newsletter here. Also, keep in mind that some of our suggestions may not be currently available during covid-19.
Check out this business on 13th Street; even if it’s just to stop in and small these candles for yourself. They are hand poured on the second floor of the shop, and come in a variety of natural smells like patchouli, spruce, and grapefruit.
They make BIG cinnamon rolls and you can add different flavored icings and TOPPINGS. I don’t need to say more.
Want a quick lunch that is both healthy and tasty? Build your own salad or grain bowl or choose one off of their menu! If salads aren’t your thing, you can make any salad into a wrap (may I suggest the “Steakhouse” for this). Don’t look past their soup of the day, as long as you make sure to get one of their homemade rolls or breadsticks to go along with it.
You can split chicken nachos with a friend, get a quesadilla for yourself, try a few tacos like the seared tuna or fried catfish, and finish the meal with oreo churros. Guac is extra… but you’re paying with a gift card, so don’t second guess it!
Treat yourself to a new pair of earrings, a mug referencing quotes from your favorite shows, or a poster for your room! You absolutely deserve a coffee from Nomad (located in the store on Church st.) while you browse. Why would you even ask?
Here at Student Activities we couldn’t be bigger fans of Grains of Sense, or Tom, who roasts all the beans! You’re probably a huge fan too… because we serve Grains of Sense at all our promo tables and events! This shop is located inside the Community Market in the back left corner, and if you must know, I’m currently sipping on the Nicaragua City Roast.
Settled in a purple brick building you pass on your way down Main Street you’ll find Oxide Pottery, home to the beautiful creations of Chatham, Justin, and Joe. Check out their store which also carries fine crafts like wooden utensils, letterpress cards and jewelry! Justin also teaches pottery classes at the Academy Center (listed below) if you’re into that sort of thing.
Head here to do some “homework”, distract your friends instead, but buy them their coffees too so they can’t be annoyed with you.
Other Participating Businesses:
Written by: Kari Moye
Kari is an Assistant Director of Student Activities. She has a B.S. in Communication Studies: Advertising and PR. Kari oversees the department’s branding and the creation of marketing pieces for all events; including all print and digital advertisements as well as promotional videos. She also manages the promotional calendar for Student Activities which includes leading the graphics and video team.
June 26, 2020
On our latest episode, we had the honor of talking with Joy Cover, the President of Freedom 4/24. In addition to discussing all that Freedom 4/24 does in the fight against human trafficking, we also learn how Joy ended up at the local non-profit. She also goes through a few different ways you can get involved with Freedom 4/24 to help put an end to human trafficking domestically and internationally. We loved the conversation and know you will too! Enjoy!
This podcast features Steph Ward (Director of SA), and Drew Snavely (Special Events Coordinator). The episode was produced and edited by Clay Copper (Event Supervisor). Our jingle was created by Judd Harris.
June 25, 2020
Last month, reality TV competition series, Survivor, wrapped up its fortieth season, “Winners at War.” Like the previous seven seasons, Winners at War took place in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands. What immediately makes this season stand out is that every single contestant competing was a winner from a previous season. Survivor legends from the show’s early seasons like Sandra Diaz, “Boston” Rob Mariano, and Parvati Shallow were mixed in with more recent winners like Tony Vlachos, Michele Fitzgerald, and Sarah Lacina. This wide range of winners, spanning nearly twenty years, quickly created an intriguing dynamic that viewers got to enjoy for the entire season.
*Warning: Spoilers for Survivor: Winners at War below*
The most refreshing aspect of this season right from the jump is how well each of these players grasp the strategy required to play Survivor well. This isn’t a huge shock; each of these players had won a previous season, but it is something that has been lacking in recent seasons that thankfully was not the case in this winner’s only edition.
Two gimmicks for Winners at War were the reintroduction of the Edge of Extinction, an island that voted off players could stay on for a chance to get back into the game, and the introduction of fire tokens, a type of currency that could be used to buy idols, advantages and rewards. Both of these twists had a big impact on gameplay throughout the thirty-nine days of the competition.
For the most part, fans of the show don’t really seem to like the Edge of Extinction, and it is easy to see why. If a contestant gets voted out, they shouldn’t get a chance to re-enter the game. The existence of the Edge of Extinction makes tribal councils feel a little less serious, knowing that the player about to be voted out has a chance to get back in the game. The reception to fire tokens was well received with many fans hoping the currency returns in future seasons.
Before contestants even got to their tribal camps, lines had already been drawn in the sand. The main theme throughout the first half of the game was “old school vs. new school”. The old school players were obviously going to work together if given the chance, because of the relationships they had built over the last decade and a half. Because of this, the new school player’s strategy was to target the old school legends to not let them get much power in the game. This strategy was largely successful, with eight old school players voted out in the first nine tribal councils.
Over the first half of the competition, Tony Vlachos, who eventually won, had played a relatively quiet game. Going into Winners at War, Tony was well known for his impressive victory in season twenty-nine, Cagayan, and his chaotic failure in season thirty-four, Game Changers. Since he was aware that it was his fast-paced antics that got him voted out in Game Changers, Tony knew that he had to lay low to start the game. Once he got established in the majority alliance, he was able to do just that.
Tony picked up his gameplay after most of the old school players had been voted out. He constantly pushed the vote in the direction he wanted and was able to form alliances with just about everybody on the island after the merge. When Tony was extorted by Natalie Anderson (finished runner-up), he was able to get fire token donations from three different people, two of which he wasn’t really aligned with in the first place!
The greatest asset to Tony’s game is his ability to get his allies back on his side after going completely behind their backs to make a move that only benefits him. After he did it a number of times in season twenty nine then general consensus was that nobody would be able to win a season like that again. When Tony left his closest ally, Sarah Lacina, in the dark for the blindsiding of one her allies, he still somehow reeled Lacina back in after the vote, despite Tony having an untrustworthy history with her.
In the end, Tony was rightfully crowned as the sole survivor in an exciting season with many great storylines. Natalie took advantage of the Edge of Extinction and the fire token system and nearly pulled off a massive upset. Michele Fitzgerald (finished third place) deserved a couple of votes in my opinion after playing a strong social game.
Overall, it was a satisfying finish to a season with ever shifting gameplay and alliances. With every single player grasping for power and influence, the level strategy was incredibly high throughout the entire season. It was a season full of blindsides, fake alliances, and innovative gameplay. Ultimately, Winners at War served as a final act for many of the greatest to ever play the game of Survivor while paving the way for a new generation of players to take up the torch.
You can stream Survivor: Winners at War on CBS All Access
Written by: Drew Snavely
Drew is the Special Events Coordinator at Student Activities. He has a B.A. in Business Administration: Financial Planning. Drew is responsible for maintaining analytics for event surveys, social media and website. He deals with various event logistics for all events such as filing out work orders and securing event rentals. He also helps manage monthly budgets, event finances and receipts.
June 23, 2020
As someone who is graduating in a year and about to begin the process of job searching, understanding the workplace climate is an important aspect to keep in mind. To add onto this, workplaces could be drastically changing in the near future. With quarantine, many employees are working from home and most likely doing so for the first time at their job. Depending on the change in performance and costs from having many employees work from home, we could see a fair share of businesses begin to utilize remote work more frequently. So, what are the chances of seeing an actual shift in the way people work, and what does that look like for those looking to enter the job force?
We first need to look at the demand for this among people. Is this even a thing the employees themselves want to continue? It seems to be pretty split currently. CNBC reported that 43% of full-time employees hope to be able to continue working remotely event after a full reopening of the economy. In another survey, they also report that employees said 20% of their employers were actively looking at ways to make remote work more of an option. If you apply this number nationally, that means we could potentially see one-fifth of full-time jobs be primarily remote work or at least a significant amount of their work become remote. Another survey conducted by research firm, Gartner, found that 74% of senior finance leaders were planning on finding ways for employees to telework permanently. While there is no way of really knowing if this telework shift is permanent, these surveys at minimum show that both employers and their employees are actively seeking this as a viable long-term work option.
The desire to work from home is there, but does it actually make sense for a business to make the move towards remote work for good? Fortunately, the data seems to suggest yes. In an article published in 2017 by Forbes, this is specifically addressed. In this article, Best Buy saw a 35% jump in productivity after introducing a flexible work program. The same article also cited that 91% of employees said they were more productive when getting to work from home. Obviously, this is somewhat subjective unless you have project management systems to show how tasks are being completed, but it still is a testament to the use of remote work with 9 of 10 people feeling this way. It also just depends on the company and the job. For a graphic designer, remote work might be a more feasible option than someone managing in a factory. This will be something that each company looks at case-by-case, or job-by-job, I should say. They’ll most likely go through and decide if a job can’t change at all, can have a flexible work program, or can be completely remote. So, how should soon-to-be college graduates and job searchers take this?
There’s no question this will change the way offices across the country function. I have many friends who work every other day in the office and work from home on the alternating days. I have friends who have been told they can work from home whenever they would like as long as results continue to come in. What does this mean for those who start this search? It can seem overwhelming when you’re thinking about beginning to look for jobs, and unemployment goes from record lows to record highs, but there is still some good tips to keep in mind:
- Use the Right Resources
You may have just read that and thought, “Wow, Andrew what profound words.” But, did you know that there have been new features on job sites like Glassdoor that were designed to help those looking for a job during the pandemic? They have filters to show the latest in-demand jobs, remote work opportunities, and “surge explorers” which will show companies hiring for multiple roles. LinkedIn has also done similar things to help those needing to look for work.
- Be Flexible and Creative
A lot of recent and soon-to-be graduates were against temporary positions because of the uncertainty, but now that might be the way to get your foot in the door and create more opportunities out of it. Be open to taking a temporary position and look for ways to exploit possible opportunities that will arise while there.
Times like now are some of the key reasons you should have a network. It can serve as a vital tool when dealing with unknown situations that are within or outside of your control.
Using these three job search tools can help you feel better about combing through hundreds of positions and not feel like you are just sending in pointless applications. The opportunities are there, but you just have to stay committed to finding what you can and making the most of what’s presented. Keep your eye out too for jobs that include remote work opportunities. Maybe remote work is only available until a certain government restriction is lifted or it could be a new integrated part of the job. If you’ve read this and think you operate better in the structure and organization of an office, that is an important factor while job searching too as companies will still need people to fill spots inside the office. I also encourage you to follow some business news sources like the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Forbes, and INC.com. These are just some of my favorite sites to use, but you can find plenty of other good ones. These news sites are great for keeping up with business trends and current events. The changing workplace is an exciting time for anyone looking for their first job or a career change, so get creative and make the most of this time to search!
Written by: Andrew Reynolds
Andrew is a Senior Project Management Major, and enjoys writing for the blog because of the opportunity it gives him to grow as a writer and to challenge himself to see current topics and discussions from a view point he may not have otherwise thought about.
June 18, 2020
I am always looking for a new podcast to sink my teeth into, this past year I listened to over 20,000 minutes of podcasts according to my Spotify Wrapped Up. While I enjoy listening to a podcast any chance I get, it also comes with the struggle of finding new ones to keep my constant stream of information going. This past year I was at a crossroads, I had listened to all of the available episodes of my, then, everyday podcasts and was unsure where to dip my toes next. I’d like to say that it was by chance that I stumbled across the Parcast Network and their seemingly endless collection of storytelling podcasts, but it was just Spotify ad that caught my attention.
I have always loved storytelling, whether it be in written word, a good TV show or film, or even listening to friends’ detail a past situation – a good story is always worth listening to. That might be what gripped me most when I gave Parcast Network’s “Espionage” a chance. It’s a well scripted, which typically I am not a fan of but when retelling history, I find it appropriate, and captivating. Carter Roy, the host of the show, does a great job detailing the history of the world’s spies. With episodes covering the first clandestine operations of the United States, with George Washington’s Spies, all the way to the well-known Cold War espionage couple the Rosenbergs.
In between this vast space of world history, Carter fills in the gaps with enthralling stories of seemingly normal people, swept into life as a spy, whether through greed, ideologies, or patronage to their country. Episodes lasting just 35 to 50 minutes cover some of the most interesting historical happenings in such great detail. This podcast is like taking Spies 101, but you don’t have any homework to turn in. Just tune in and listen to stories like that of Nancy Wake, who operated in the British Special Operations Executive branch as a spy responsible for recruiting British allies in the fight against Nazi Germany. In her time undercover, she was responsible for saving thousands of Allied soldiers and Jewish refugees out of France and to safety. The Nazi military could not get to the bottom of who was wreaking havoc on their operations. Only hearing murmurs of a woman operative connecting rebels across Europe, they dubbed her the White Mouse and placed a bounty on her head. Even then, Nancy did not stand down.
As June 6, 1994 approached, Nancy unified over 7,000 French country men and women to trap Nazi forces on the beaches of Normandy by destroying all of their supply stations and equipment that would have been used in a Nazi retreat. The most interesting aspect of this story to me, while her achievements and impact on French morale and military success are unescapable, was the fact that she was just a normal girl living in France when the war broke out. She saw injustice and chose to help in any way she could. Constantly escaping deaths’ grip to do what was right.
This is just one of the many stories that Carter Roy discusses in the “Espionage” series. The storytelling alone is enough to catch your attention, and the content is almost unreal. So, if you’re interested in history, even in the slightest, or just looking for a good story to listen to, check out Parcast Network’s “Espionage” and get your fix.
Espionage. (n.d.). Retrieved June 11, 2020, from https://www.parcast.com/espionage
Written by: Clay Copper
Clay is a grad student that is still trying to figure out what he is doing with his life. Sometimes he writes about relevant topics here, but mostly he writes about what he cares about and hopes you enjoy it.
June 16, 2020
We’re bringing a fresh playlist to your summer, with music from Johnny Cash to Willie Nelson to Glen Campbell. Spruce up your summer pool days or drives to work with a variety of upbeat and diverse tunes, created just for you! We hope you enjoy!
June 11, 2020
I’ve been saying for months now how sweet and refreshing it will be to have students back on campus this fall. When you run a department full of events that brings people together, you can expect that there’s a void in all of us when those events get canceled, and we are to limit interaction with any sort of group. I get antsy after three months of students being gone, so you can imagine how I’m feeling with our current five-month gap. All this to say, I’m really hopeful and ecstatic for what the fall will bring!
One of our most anticipated events of the year is set for August 29 at 5 p.m. in the LaHaye Parking Lot – Block Party. Though there are a lot of loose ends right now, boy are we ready! Chock-full of food vendors, attractions like the ferris wheel and mechanical bull, local businesses and interactive vendors, prizes, live music, and more, this event has much to offer Liberty students, faculty and staff. As you may have seen, we’re bringing you a full night of music, kicking off at 5 p.m. all the way until 10 p.m. Five artists/bands are set to hit the stage, and I dare say this is one of my favorite line ups to date. Lets get to know our artists a bit more:
A native to the Block Party stage, GAWVI, a pop and hip artist and producer, will be closing the show. Born in the Bronx and raised in Miami, he uses his Latin roots to create versatile sounds with Latin-Caribbean rhythms. His set is guaranteed to be upbeat and bring energy to the crowd.
The New Respects
The New Respects are a pop, soul, and roll & roll band from Nashville, Tennessee. Their mesh of many genres with overlays of acoustic tones set them apart in the music industry. Comprised of two sisters, a brother, and their cousin, they’ll undeniably bring soul and spirit to the stage.
Where are all my country music fans at? Temecula Road was formed by two sisters, Emma and Maddie Salute, and longtime friend Dawson Anderson. They’re well-known for their trademark harmonies and impeccable vocals. The band is from Temecula, California, which they named are named after, to signify their deep ties to their community.
Angie Rose is a pop and hip-hop artist from the Bronx. Her Puerto Rican roots really inspire her music, with lyrics that promote diversity and overcoming various obstacles in life, alongside a sound that brings upbeat and lively energy.
Kicking off the night will be NICE., bringing a sound they’ll describe as nostalgic yet modern, comparable to The 1975 and Coldplay. These guys will make us feel right at home, as they were formed here at Liberty University!
Each of these artists are unique, upbeat, and will bring diversity to our Block Party stage. I encourage you to check out their music in advance, so you can be ready to party with us that night.
On a more serious note, as with anything we do, we do our best to create events that are safe and inviting for all guests. In an effort to make Block Party the best it can be, while maintaining a safe environment, we will be adjusting our sanitary procedures and adhering to any crowd limitations issued by the State of Virginia for this event. We will consistently monitor specific guidelines and recommendations from the university, our government, and the CDC to make all necessary adjustments in August. In an effort to communicate the most accurate information and make the safest decision possible, all changes and guidelines for this event will be posted on both our social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and our Block Party page the week of the event. The page currently lists how we’re increasing all sanitary measures at events (regardless of crowd size) as we move into the fall, so take a look and see how you can do your part to make this event safe for everyone! Again, there will be more details coming the week of the event to make the best decision possible as the event approaches.
Be sure to check out our full calendar of events, as Block Party isn’t the only thing you’ll want to join us for this fall. See you August 29!