New Year Sparks Change for Christians

Why does the New Year spark this excitement for change and new possibilities? Right now, some people are in the process of trying to fulfill their New Year resolutions. The New Year seems to provide an opening for new beginnings.

New beginnings can inspire a person to improve themselves. This inspiration could come from the idea that the person has a “clean slate” for the upcoming year. Therefore, the person can start fresh and not focus on the previous year.

Furthermore, during the New Year, some people have a mentality that whatever occurred in the past stays in it.  This mentality relates to Christianity because when Christians repent their sins, God wipes their slate clean. Acts 3:19 reads, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (English Standard Version). Thus, the New Year can represent a period of renewal for Christians that set resolutions.

New Year resolutions are difficult to accomplish. It is possible if it begins simply and there is concrete reasoning behind it. If a person wants to lose weight and is not used to an intensive workout, they have to gradually work on their stamina. The reason for the resolution should be meaningful for the person to stay determined during the process because there will be times when the person might want to give up.

The New Year is a joyous time for people that aspire to improve in certain areas of their lives. People have the power to change and accomplish their goals with diligence and patience. Matthew 7:7 reads, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (English Standard Version). Therefore, the Lord is aware of what a Christian strives to improve in their faith, yet the Christian has to be willing to try to complete the resolution.

Looking Back a Decade: A Glance at The Waltonian in ’04

A New Year means new resolutions and goals; it also means reflecting on the past to see how much one has changed over the years. In honor of the turn of the year, The Waltonian dug through the archives of past issues to discover where it was ten years ago, in January of 2004.

On the front page in January 2004, under a maroon heading and a photo of a student hugging the Eastern Eagle, was a photo of Eastern theology professor Dr. Chris Hall meeting Pope John Paul II after a ceremony at the Vatican in Rome. Dr. Hall was given this opportunity because of his work on Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Below the article of these two religious men was, ironically, an article on the increase in illegal music downloads on Eastern’s campus.

A page of Arts and Entertainment was devoted to five local boy bands, all featuring current or former Eastern students. Though several bands, like Encryptor, put out a few albums, neither Encryptor nor The One-Nine Crew, No Mirage, Full Surrender, or Dreaming Under Mercury, hit the big leagues.

However, perhaps the most entertaining article in January 2004 was Sodexho rumors put to rest (also, what’s with the “H” in Sodexo?). I believe the first sentence says it all: “It’s that sprint to the bathroom after a trip to the Breezeway that leaves some students wondering if Sodexho slips laxatives into the food.” That’s right. Students accused Sodex(h)o of slipping a little something extra to the students, to which the former manager, David DiGregorio, replied would be “unethical.”  Mike Kenis, the former Production Manager and now General Manager, argued that students were simply facing indigestion due to a change of eating habits from home to campus.

The Waltonian has certainly evolved in the last ten years, and not just in its lack of laxative-related articles. The January 2004 issue featured exclusively Eastern stories, while today The Waltonian branches out into national and international news, as well as current celebrity news and pop culture. However, if The Waltonian is ever in need of some Eastern news stories, maybe it ought to look into up-and-coming boy bands on campus. Perhaps there will even be a revival of The One-Nine Crew (but leave the bleached tips and ripped off shirt sleeves in 2004, boys).

The Spotlight: Katie Haring

Although she’s allergic to certain types of glitter, Katie Haring, the Chair of Eastern’s Student Activities Board, probably doesn’t mind if a speckle here and there made its way to any events she’s throwing. The Waltonian spoke with the Psychology major, with minors in Management and Marketing, about SAB and the New Year at Eastern.

 

WALTONIAN: For whoever doesn’t know, describe what SAB does in one sentence.

Katie Haring: SAB tries to provide fun on and off-campus events for EU students.

WALT: Why join the SAB?

KH: Joining SAB gives you an opportunity to make your voice heard, be involved on campus, learn how to plan events, and have a lot of fun while doing so.

WALT: Is SAB (or are you) excited for 2014? Pessimistic? What do you think of the New Year?

KH: We [SAB] are excited for the new semester – to try new ideas!

WALT: Without any spoilers, what activities does SAB have in store for Eastern’s campus for 2014?

KH: We will have a few coffeehouses, a big trivia gameshow, ice skating, dances, a Sixers game, the Spring Banquet, and…maybe even a few other surprises.

WALT: If there was no limit on money, what even would you like to bring to campus?

KH: If there was no limit on money, we would love to just have more events each semester, and be able to do many of the suggested events that we have received from students, but we can not afford to do it.

WALT: What do you think of New Year resolutions? Does SAb have any changes/resolutions it wants to make for 2014?

KH: As a team, we are excited that the new semester brings new opportunities to improve.

WALT: Do you have any advice for the campus when its comes to New Year resolutions?

KH: I think that instead of making New Year resolutions, making daily resolutions puts less pressure on ourselves; this allows for constant growth instead of expecting to change overnight and being disappointed when we fail.

 

Well said, Katie!

Thanksgiving & Christianity

Turkey, mashed potatoes, and grandma’s marshmallowed yams. Thanksgiving is a celebration for your belly, but what about your heart? We celebrate Easter and Christmas as Christian holidays, but should we include Christianity in our November feasting? And if so, how can we bring together Christ and Thanksgiving, two seemingly unrelated entities of our lives?

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul acknowledges the Lord’s dominion in all things. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (NIV). Per the doctrine of total depravity, it would then be a sin to not eat and drink all things to the glory of God. Or, do anything that usurps or ignores the glory of God. Thus, Thanksgiving should be celebrated (as should every other holiday) with the intent of glorifying the Lord. So that turkey, those mashed potatoes are made and consumed for His glory. This is a good thing.

So how do we go about celebrating Thanksgiving in a godly manner? First, give thanks for the blessings in your life. Sure, this sounds cliché, but when done for the glory of God, it is anything but typical. Psalm 95:2 says, “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song” (NIV). Coming before Him is an act of submission, and should therefore be entered into humbly. Quite frequently, we give thanks for good things that have happened to us or we’ve done ourselves. Boiled down, such thanks are given with a sense of pride, a sense of our own achievement. Instead, I extol you to enter into thanksgiving with the humblest of hearts, understanding that everything you have and have achieved is from the Lord. Also, thanksgiving isn’t supposed to stop after the meal’s prayer. Thanks should always be given, and be given with music and song. In other words, thanksgiving should be given humbly and joyfully.

Giving humbly and joyfully throughout the entirety of Thanksgiving Day, we should also glorify God while eating turkey and mashed potatoes. 1 Timothy 4:3-5 talks of hypocrites: “They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (NIV). Because God created all things as good, turkey, mashed potatoes and every other assortment of Thanksgiving dinner was created “to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.” Thus, as Christians who believe the truth, we shall eat with thanksgiving, drink with thanksgiving, and be together with thanksgiving. God has given us such food and drink to be enjoyed with constant and continual thanks, but not perverted with gluttony and ignorance. So, eat and drink on Thanksgiving Day for God’s glory.

Lastly, while glorifying God on this holiday, we should also serve others. In Matthew 18:20, Christ says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them” (NIV). Come together as family, friends or community and eat Thanksgiving dinner together; done with the intent to glorify the Lord, Christ will be amongst you. Perhaps most important to this notion is serving while coming together. Invite someone you don’t know or someone you just met to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family. Paul writes, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible” (1 Corinthians 9:19 NIV). This Thanksgiving, make yourself a slave for others in order to glorify the Lord, and remember to keep pride at bay when doing so.

With Christ as its center, Thanksgiving can become not only a feast for our bellies but for our hearts. Feasting on God’s glory, we must work on His purpose and will this holiday season. God bless.

Black Friday: when everything is on sale…except civility

Two hundred twenty-five million people spent eleven billion four hundred million dollars.

Sadly, it is true.  Last year, 225,000,000 people went shopping on Black Friday, and $11,400,000,000 was spent nationwide.  And it is only going to get worse from here.  This year, experts predict that sales will grow by 3.1 percent.  This translates into one in three Americans shopping on Black Friday.  Not only do we have Black Friday, but we also now have Black Thursday, which typically begins in the evening on Thanksgiving.

And I, as many other Americans do, ask myself…what is this madness?

The first Black Friday was certainly not like this.  Many people trace the holiday back to the first Thanksgiving parades that were sponsored by department stores, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924.  The day after the parades, the stores were allowed to start advertising Christmas sales.  This unfortunately has led to the misery we call modern-day Black Friday.  Because one day was essentially set aside as the beginning of holiday shopping, the day has been hyped up more and more over the years to the point where it has exploded and become the largest, most ridiculous, and most violent shopping day of the year.

There are several reasons why Black Friday is not a good day to choose to go shopping.  For one, people get easily enticed into spending more than they should.  The discounts are never as good as they first appear to be.  That is not to say that this is a problem for everyone.  Some people take advantage of the discounts without going overboard.  Because they spend their money wisely, they save money, and the day serves its purpose.  However, most people do not have that kind of restraint, which makes shopping on Black Friday counterproductive.

Of course, there are also the crowds and extremely long lines.  This is where the question of whether time or money is more valuable should be asked.  Saving money is awesome, but I would rather spend more as opposed to wasting time.  I know that I, at least, do not have the time to stand in lines all day waiting to purchase items or even to get in stores.  And then there are always those people who camp out before the stores even open.  Sigh.

Undoubtedly, though, the most unfathomable and heartbreaking aspect of the equation is the extreme cases of violence.  Every Black Friday, stories about out-of-control stampedes, in addition to the occasional shootings and stabbings, surface and are covered extensively by news stations.  Americans are well aware of all the violence.  Yet it does not seem to be enough to deter many people from shopping on Black Friday.

8211830080_670dcd75b2People are even killed on this day.  And what for?  This is over silly shopping discounts.  You may not think it could happen to you, but I disagree.  For instance, in 2008, I guarantee that the 34-year-old Wal-Mart employee who was trampled to death as well as the two people who were fatally shot at a Toys ‘R’ Us had not expected to die that day, especially not under such circumstances.  Black Friday is responsible for too much violence, and this sickens me.

Those are just a few reasons why shopping on Black Friday is a horrible idea.  It is definitely not worth it.  When deciding if you will go Black Friday shopping this year, consider the temptations of spending more than you had intended to, the crowded stores and extremely long lines, and the unthinkable violence and tragic deaths that the day gives rise to.

Instead, think about participating in Black Friday alternatives.  If you are interested in saving money, Cyber Monday, which is essentially the on-line version of Black Friday, offers incredible discounts.  This also allows you to avoid the crowds and long lines.  Or, you could accomplish this by doing your holiday shopping earlier in the month of November.  Best yet, both of these alternatives are violence-free.  So go ahead, and shop away!  Just be smart about it.

Sources:  www.blackfriday.com, www.wikipedia.org, www.buzzfeed.com

Falling for Fall Fashion

Pastel Outerwear

Pastels aren’t just for spring anymore. Try a bright peacoat this winter instead of boring dark shades. I got mine at Old Navy.

Men’s Wear

Tailored blazers and structured pieces are trending this season. Pair them with girly accessories to balance the look. Forever 21 has tons.

Heavy Metal

Accessories featuring spikes and chains are popular. Try them on shoes and necklaces. These gold heart-studded flats are from Forever 21.

Infinity Scarves

Wrap-around scarves add a pop of color and warmth to any outfit. This one is from Target.

Knit Beanies

They keep your head super warm walking around campus on cold mornings, and they’re perfect for bad hair days. You can find them just about anywhere.

Over-the-knee Boots

Paired with leggings or a short dress, knee-high boots are a fall fashion staple. These are from Forever 21.

Squash Season

Dorm-Friendly, No-Bake Pumpkin Coconut Cookies

(Adapted From www.fastpaleo.com)

Makes 18 cookies.

Requirements: microwave oven, mini-refrigerator, microwave safe bowl, large spoon, measuring spoons, measuring cups, and a baking sheet or large, flat surface on which to rest the cookies.

These healthy, autumnal cookies are gluten-free, dairy free and even refined sugar free! If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to truly nourish your brain before midterms, try these out!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup

1/3 cup almond butter

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 ½ Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients except for the shredded coconut in a large, microwavable bowl. Stir until well thoroughly combined. Place bowl in microwave and microwave for 20 seconds.

2. Add the shredded coconut to the bowl with wet

ingredients. Mix well until the coconut is fully dispersed

throughout the pumpkin and honey mixture.

3. Scoop 1 tablespoon mounds onto a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper if you have it.) Refrigerate cookies for 2 hours to set.

4. Serve and enjoy! Any leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

Maple-Spiced Delicata Squash, Fennel and Kale

(Adapted from www.sproutedkitchen.com)

Requirements: a fully functional kitchen, a well-stocked pantry, and attention to detail.

Serves 4

Delicata squash, in addition to being adorable, is also remarkably delicious. Roasted with maple syrup, it becomes a caramelized and chewy epitome of fall flavor. This dish highlights autumn’s bounty and features the one winter squash that doesn’t require peeling! Impress your family and friends during Thanksgiving with this delectable side dish.

Ingredients:

– 3 small delicata squash (about 1-1.5 lb. total) skin on, halved & seeded

– 1 large fennel bulb,

reserving fronds for garnish

– 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

– 1 Tbsp. maple syrup

– 1 tsp. whole grain mustard

– 1/2 tsp. cayenne

– Pinch of red pepper flakes

– 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

– 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg

– Salt (smoked or sea salt) + pepper

– 1 bunch kale, stems removed

– 3 Tbsp. minced red onion

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 400’. Arrange one rack in the upper third and one on the bottom third.

2. Slice the squash into 1’’ half moons. Slice the fennel down the center, cut out the tough core and slice into 1/2’’ wedges.

3. Spread everything on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, maple, mustard, cayenne, red pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and a few generous pinches of smoked salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat everything, adding another drizzle of oil or maple if it seems too dry.

4. Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the squash is tender and caramelized, tossing the

vegetables half way through.

5. Rip the kale into large chunks, drizzle it with remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread it on

another baking sheet.

6. At the 30 minute mark, move the squash tray to the lower rack and put the kale on the top rack. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are crisp.

7. Add your minced onion and gently toss everything

together. Enjoy warm.

 

 

 

 

 

Everything You Should Know About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving seems to be the holiday that never changes. Family and good food are the basics. Rituals and traditions, like the move from the “kiddie table” to the “adult table,” still remain for many families across the country. But as we get older, and the cultural landscape of the United States changes, Thanksgiving myths and customs are being re-examined or revitalized. Here are a few ideas and traditions that have changed:

1.      The “First” Thanksgiving: The first Thanksgiving was not started by Pilgrims in 1621. It was tradition to give thanks to God over a feast long before the Pilgrims landed in the New World. In the United Kingdom and on the European continent, many days out of the year were dedicated to feasting; this became quite common there and in the New World before Thanksgiving was made a national holiday in 1863. Due to the large efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” the 1621 version of Thanksgiving, with Pilgrims and Native Americans feasting on turkey and side dishes, became the standard and is still looked at as the absolute history of the holiday.

2.      The “All-American” Holiday: Thanksgiving is not only celebrated in the U.S., but is celebrated in different versions around the world. For example, Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving are the same in ideals and purpose, but differ in history and customs. First, Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October! And there is no Black Friday in Canada. The biggest shopping day of the year for Canada is the day after Christmas, called Boxing Day.

3.      No One Eats the Same Meal: The big turkey dinner has always been the norm, but that is quickly changing as the U.S. is becoming a multicultural melting pot, as well as interested in different kinds of foods. Forget the turkey! Many households will be serving goose, ham, or chicken as the centerpiece of their family dinner. The “turducken,” a chicken stuffed inside a duck, which is stuffed inside a turkey, has also become a popular holiday meal. Italian-American families may serve traditional Italian dishes, such as lasagna. Jewish families might have sweet kugel, a noodle dish with cinnamon and raisins. Families with vegetarian diets enjoy Tofurky, which is tofu and wheat protein roast stuffed with vegetables.

Sources:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/13091/first-thanksgiving-didnt-actually-take-place-america

http://mentalfloss.com/article/13143/4-big-differences-between-canadian-and-american-thanksgiving

http://mentalfloss.com/article/23336/quick-10-10-thanksgiving-foods-you-might-not-be-having

http://mentalfloss.com/article/20218/why-we-eat-what-we-eat-thanksgiving

 

Charles S. Walton Sr.- The Man, the Myth, and the Legend

I came across various accounts about his personality. He seemed to be dynamic, determined, and forceful, but at the same time was kind, caring, and generous. He certainly was one in a million.

This article is not about Mr. Walton’s life story, though, but rather, it is about the legend that has developed around his life.

Over the years many students have claimed to see a ghost walking along Willow Lake, which is located between Walton Hall and the Gate House. These students, who are walking back to their dorms after a late night of studying, supposedly see a middle-aged man, off by himself. Some might very well ask if these sightings are, in fact, of a ghost, or of just a random man. Well, picture if you will, a man with a three-piece suit, high collared shirt, spectacles, and an English mustache and you not only have your ghost, but Mr. Walton himself. Therefore, it has been surmised that this mysterious being is none other than Charles Walton, Sr.

Legend has it that because Mr. Walton cannot leave his beloved estate, which is now Eastern University, he walks its grounds to this very day.

While he was alive, Mr. Walton, at advice from his doctors, was told to slow down and relax. Mr. Walton being who he was, did not slow down, but instead decided to build his dream estate. This estate would not just be for him, though, but it would a place where anyone could come and relax. Mr. Walton would have hundreds of underprivileged kids come from Philadelphia and enjoy the spacious property. In 1913, he

finished the estate that he had worked so tirelessly to build. He called it, “Walmarthon” (named after his wife). The sad part is Mr. Walton only got to enjoy Walmarthon for a few short years. He was dead at fifty-four.

A passage I found in an old biographical book says what I cannot:

“It was at his home “Walmarthon” that Mr. Walton passed away, December 26, 1916, deeply and sincerely mourned by members of every class in the community, for his countless acts of kindness had endeared him to many. In one sense it is impossible to say of Charles S. Walton that he has “ceased from earth.” He is still with us, not only in the hearts that loved him, but also in the lives of those to whom he carried relief, healing, courage and regeneration.”

Perhaps, the legend of Mr. Walton’s ghost was created by those who loved him so much in life that they did not want to believe that he was gone. Or, was it just made up by students, or even better yet, is there really some truth to it? Whatever the case may be, Mr. Walton is indeed still with us through what he left behind: A legacy of service that continues to this day at Eastern University.

The Haunting of Doane B

Back when the Waltons still owned Eastern’s campus and the estate was still functioning, Doane residence hall was part of the servant’s quarters. Built in the 1910s, Doane B and C were part of the original estate. There is suspected to be an underground pathway that leads from the Waltmarthon mansion to Doane. However, this claim is yet to be confirmed.

Located on the top floor of Doane B is a girl’s hall. At the top of the stairs on the right is a dusky, original bathroom where a girl named Reba Yoder supposedly hung herself. Some stories say that Yoder was a servant of the Waltons in the early 1900s, and some say that she was a past resident of Doane B.

There have been multiple accounts of paranormal activity there. Strangehappenings.org claims that those who live on the hall have attested to seeing rope occasionally appear in the bathroom, and have seen and heard frequent noises and other disturbances along the hall. Some say they have seen feet dangling below the bathroom stall doors.

Mackenzie Kennedy, Eastern student and former RA of Doane B says, “Myth is that if you leave a chair in the bathroom with the door shut, when you open the door the chair will be tipped over.”

Andrew Whitehead, a senior and current resident of Doane states that he has also heard the stories about Doane B. Though he has not personally encountered the spirit, he has heard a number of accounts from the girls that live there.  Whitehead admits, “It’s kind of a creepy bathroom.” He also notes that the ghost may be terrorizing the Doane A mailroom as well, as he has heard of some people

encountering the ghost there.

Former RD Nate Stuzman says that there are complaints every year about girls hearing creaking and footsteps throughout the third floor, yet when they go to pursue the source of the noise, no one is on the hall.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Bubb used to live on the second floor of Doane B and says she has had personal experiences with the haunt. “I heard a lot of footsteps at night up on the third floor, and I never knew what it was because it was too late for my hallmates to be up.”

Junior Alex Kraft says that he was “genuinely scared to do his laundry” when he lived in Doane A during his freshman and sophomore years because of how eerie the room is. He says that the lights would occasionally flicker on and off, leaving him to do his laundry by the light of the hallway.

Though there are many myths about Doane, none of the stories have been confirmed as true. Students of Eastern may never know if the legends of Reba Yoder are true unless they experience the haunting themselves. Next time you are in Doane, you can choose to chalk up any odd happenings to the local ghost, or you can blame the ruckus on some crazy night-owl students. Whether you chose to believe or not is up to you.