Wednesday Morning – JACKSON CAMPUS Early Classes Cancelled – Open at 10 am

With the possible challenge of hazardous road conditions early in the morning, we will cancel the first two classes – all classes and all administrative offices will open at 10 AM.

Classes scheduled for 8 am and for 9 am will NOT meet.

Classes scheduled for 10 am and for the remainder of the day WILL meet.

Administrative offices will open at 10 am.

Evening classes WILL meet as scheduled Wednesday night.

How To Discourage Artists in the Church

From The Gospel Coalition Blog

Many Christian artists live between two strange worlds. Their faith in Christ seems odd to many of their friends in the artistic community—almost as odd as their calling as artists seems to some of their friends at church. Yet Christians called to draw, paint, sculpt, sing, act, dance, and play music have extraordinary opportunities to honor God in their daily work and to bear witness to the grace, beauty, and truth of the gospel. How can pastors (and churches) encourage Christians with artistic gifts in their dual calling as Christian artists?

As a pastor and college president, I have made a sad discovery: the arts are not always affirmed in the life of the local church. We need a general rediscovery of the arts in the context of the church. This is badly needed because the arts are the leading edge of culture.

A recovery of the arts is also needed because the arts are a vital sign for the church. Francis Schaeffer once said:

For a Christian, redeemed by the work of Christ and living within the norms of Scripture and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the lordship of Christ should include an interest in the arts. A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God—not just as tracts, but as things of beauty to the praise of God.

In this article, I am taking a fresh and somewhat contrarian approach by seeking to answer the question, “How do you discourage artists in the church?”

In preparation, I asked some friends for their answers to my question: an actor, a sculptor, a jazz singer, a photographer. They are not whiners, but they gave me an earful (and said that it was kind of fun).

Here is my non-exhaustive list of ways that churches can discourage their artists (and some quotes from my friends).

Treat the arts as a window dressing for the truth rather than a window into reality. See the arts as merely decorative or entertaining, not serious and life-changing. “‘Humor’ artists by ‘allowing’ them to put work up in the hallways, or some forgotten, unused corner with terrible lighting, where it can be ‘decoration,'” David Hooker told me.

Embrace bad art. Tolerate low aesthetic standards. Only value work that is totally accessible, not difficult or challenging. One example would be digital images and photography on powerpoint as a background for praise songs. Value work that is sentimental, that doesn’t take risks, that doesn’t give offense, that people immediately “get.”

Value artists only for their artistic gifts, not for the other contributions they can make to the life of the church. See them in one dimension, not as whole persons. Specifically, discount artists for leadership roles because they are too creative, not analytical, too intuitive.

Demand artists to give answers in their work, not raise questions. Mark Lewis says, “Make certain that your piece (or artifact or performance) makes incisive theological or moral points, and doesn’t stray into territory about which you are unresolved or in any way unclear. (Clear answers are of course more valuable than questions).” Do not allow for ambiguity, or for varied responses to art. Demand art to communicate in the same way to everyone.

Never pay artists for their work. Expect that they will volunteer their service, without recognizing their calling or believing that they are workers worthy of their hire. Note that Old Testament artists and musicians were supported financially.

When you ask them to serve through the arts, tell them what to do and also how to do it. Don’t leave room for the creative process. Take, for example, a children’s Sunday school mural: “Tell them what it should look like, in fact, draw up plans first,” David Hooker said. Discourage improvisation; give artists a AAA road map.

Idolize artistic success. Add to the burden artists already feel by only validating the calling of artists who are “making it.”

Only validate art that has a direct application, for example, something that communicates a gospel message or can be used for evangelism. Artist Makoto Fujimura answers the following question in an interview at The High Calling: “How then do you see art as evangelism?” He says:

There are many attempts to use the arts as a tool for evangelism. I understand the need to do that; but, again, it’s going back to commoditizing things. When we are so consumer-driven, we want to put price tags on everything; and we want to add value to art, as if that was necessary. We say if it’s useful for evangelism, then it has value.

And, there are two problems with that. One, it makes art so much less than what it can be potentially. But also, you’re communicating to the world that the gospel is not art. The gospel is this information that needs to be used by something to carry it.

Only, that’s not the gospel at all. The gospel is life. The gospel is about the Creator God, who is an artist, who is trying to communicate. And his art is the church. We are the artwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works. If we don’t realize that fully, then the gospel itself is truncated and art itself suffers.

Do not allow space for lament. The artist’s call is to face the darkness while still believing in the light, to sense God’s silence and sorrow. Ruth Naomi Floyd asks, “How can artists of faith trace the darkness and pain of Good Friday to the joy of Sunday’s Resurrection?”

I could go on. Here are some more ways to discourage artists in the church:

  • Not setting reasonable boundaries.
  • Not allowing artists to experience creative freedom.
  • Asking the input of artists and deciding not to use it without an explanation.
  • Not giving artists the gift of real listening.
  • Not preaching and teaching the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ.

But the last item on my list is, in general, make artists not feel fully at home in the church.Most of the items on my list reflect a failure to understand art and to let art be art as a creative exploration of the potentialities of creation. This is a crushing burden because artists already know that as Christians they will not be fully at home in the world of art—they don’t worship its idols or believe its lies. N. T. Wright comments:

In my experience the Christian painter or poet, sculptor or dancer, is regularly regarded as something of a curiosity, to be tolerated, humoured even, maybe even allowed to put on a show once in a while. But the idea that they are, or could be, anything more than that—that they have a vocation to re-imagine and re-express the beauty of God, to lift our sights and change our vision of reality—is often not even considered.

So will you make a home for Christians called to be artists?

Please do what you can to accommodate them, because they are pointing us toward eternity. As W. David O. Taylor writes in For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts:

Whether through paint or sound, metaphor or movement, we are given the inestimable gift of participating in the re-creative work of the Triune God, anticipating that final and unimaginable re-creation of all matter, space, and time, the fulfillment of all things visible and invisible.


BU in the News

This past week or two it seemed we were all over the news:

  • Hal Mumme named Head Football Coach
  • Students serving the community on Martin Luther King Day
  • Our Rwandan students raising money to help students at home
  • Upcoming Arts event on campus
  • BU online ranked in nation’s best by US News

More significantly than the headlines, our social media trends have been breaking all the records for any past period of time at Belhaven.

BU News

Coach Hal Mumme’s 2.0 Air Raid Offense Comes to BU

From The Clarion Ledger (1.22.14)

When the Belhaven job opened in late December, Hal Mumme wasn’t planning on leaving Southern Methodist University.

The 61-year-old, who was the assistant head coach and passing game coordinator at the Division I school near Dallas, knew good things about Belhaven through a former assistant and Blazers coach, Dennis Roland. But Mumme hadn’t been in Jackson for years.

After talking to coaching contacts and friends in the Jackson area, the “Air Raid” innovator found the head coaching job at the NAIA school more appealing. The school announced Mumme’s hiring last Friday and introduced the former Kentucky coach at a Tuesday press conference.

“The allure of being a head coach and being able to run the program was really important to me,” Mumme said. “I felt, in talking to (president) Dr. (Roger) Parrott, (vice president for athletics) Scott (Little), that Belhaven felt right. It seems like a great place. I look forward to winning a lot of football games and representing Belhaven in all the ways they want to be represented.”

When news first leaked that Mumme was leaving the Division I ranks for Belhaven, it stunned numerous football pundits. The natural question was: Why would Mumme leave a major FBS coaching position at SMU for Belhaven?

Mumme saw the reaction. But he said that those who know him best weren’t surprised by his decision. They knew how much he loved coaching small colleges. He got his first head coaching job at Iowa Wesleyan, another NAIA school. He had considerable success at McMurry (Division III) and Valdosta State (Division II).

“I’ve always enjoyed (small colleges),” he said. “It’s probably the most gratifying coaching.”

Mumme’s most famous pupil wasn’t surprised by the move, either.

Tim Couch, who was a Heisman Trophy finalist and the No. 1 pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, remembers Mumme liking to call all the shots when the two were at Kentucky together. It was there, in the SEC, that Mumme took his Air Raid offense to the masses and made Couch a household name. Mumme guided the program to two bowl games and wins over top programs like LSU and Alabama before later resigning after an internal investigation revealed recruiting violations.

Couch, who now works as an analyst for Fox Sports South, appreciates his time under Mumme.

“He’s cutting edge,” Couch said. “He’s an innovator in the passing game. He’s always a step ahead of defenses. He’s always on the attack. He’s going to do whatever it takes to win. He’s very confident and very aggressive. He’s the type of guy whose system is proven. Wherever he’s been, his offense has put up big numbers. As a quarterback, that’s what you want to be in.”

At Belhaven, Mumme promises to unveil “Air Raid II.” He wouldn’t give any hints about it Tuesday, but Couch expects it to incorporate some of SMU coach June Jones’ run-and-shoot offense. Mumme has also kept up with some of his Air Raid proteges like Washington State’s Mike Leach and West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen and tweaked his offense over the years.

But the offense will still be heavily predicated on short passes. The Air Raid is Mumme’s bread-and-butter, and he isn’t changing that at his seventh head college coaching job.

The coaching nomad does hope to stick around for awhile, too.

“I’ve been fortunate to be the head coach at a lot of places,” Mumme said. “I’d like this to be the last one.”

Belhaven Students Joined Me at the State Capitol

photo[4]Today, five great students (wearing Belhaven Gold shirts) join me at the State Capitol, with students and presidents of the other private universities in Mississippi, to celebrate Independent Higher Education Week in Mississippi.

The delegation was address by Speaker of the House, Phillip Gunn, who’s son, Andrew is a senior at Belhaven.

Joining him were Colleges and Universities Committee Chairs of the Senate and the House, John A. Polk, and Nolan Mettetal.  Senator Polk’s son-in-law is currently completing his Master Degree through our Belhaven Online campus.

Seven school presidents joined by five students from each campus to form a smart, and bright background for the press conference.

Members of the Mississippi Association of Independent Colleges include:

Belhaven University

Blue Mountain College

Millsaps College

Mississippi College

Rust College

Tougaloo College

William Carey University

Academy Award Nominated Singer to Speak (and sing) at BU March 1 – Joni Eareckson Tada

From Christianity Today (1/17/14)

A Hollywood nod to a Christian film has come as a shock to the entertainment world, as the song “Alone Yet Not Alone” (from the movie by the same name) was nominated for an Oscar.

The song beat out Coldplay, Taylor Swift, and Lana Del Ray to join the other four nominees for best original song: Frozen’s “Let it Go”; U2’s “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” from Despicable Me 2; and Karen O’s “The Moon Song” from Her.

What’s more surprising, however, may be the person who performed the song in the end credits: Joni Eareckson Tada, quadriplegic Christian author and speaker, and one of CT’s “50 Women You Should Know.” (A video of Tada singing the song is below.)

The Los Angeles Times reports the song may have been nominated because it played a crucial, recurring role in the film. Bruce Broughton, a winner of multiple Emmy awards and a previous Oscar nominee (Silverado), was one of the composers.

Broughton also is a previous music branch governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as a chair of the music branch. (Deadline claims Broughton made phone calls to his connections within the academy to consider the song). William Ross, composer of the film’s score, has been a past music director for the Academy Awards as well.

Vanity Fair interviewed Broughton, who said, “I am not known as a songwriter—most composers don’t get a chance to write songs. Because it is a faith-based film, it is probably the first one of its sort to get a nomination. And because it is for my song, it is particularly sweet.”

The nomination has received negative reactions not for its quality, but for the film’s endorsements by James Dobson, Rick Santorum, and Josh Dugger, executive director of Family Resource Council Action, among others. framed the movie as endorsed by “anti-gay hate group activists,” while the Boston Globeheadline reads, “The Oscar nomination that stinks to heaven.” Hitflix writes: “There were audible gasps and chuckles when Cheryl Boone Isaacs began reading the list of nominees in the category, and first off the bat was “Alone Yet Not Alone” from, er, Alone Yet Not Alone…It doesn’t seem a stretch to call this Christian drama the most obscure feature film nominated for an Oscar this year.”

But Ken Wales, one of the producers of the film, told CT that the nomination comes “by the grace of God,” and that regardless of the outcome, “to God be the glory.” Wales, who also produced Amazing Grace­­—the acclaimed film about William Wilberforce—as well as Christya mid-90s TV show—said the song will be performed live during the March 2 Academy Awards event.

The film, based on the book by Tracy Leininger Craven, recounts the story of a German family immigrating to America in mid-1700s.

In 2010, CT discussed Alone Yet Not Alone as a film that “recognizes the power of hymns,” specifically in reference to the Oscar-nominated song. The film will be released in theaters nationwide this June.

CT regularly reports on the Oscars and Christian films, including why a Christian film received an R-rating.

CT also interviewed Tada and her husband about their marriage following the release of the couple’s book, Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story.

Additional reporting by CT editor-at-large Mark Moring.

Below is a video of Tada performing the Oscar-nominated song:

Big Time Coach to Lead Belhaven Football

mumme-179x300Below is the news release that  went to the press this afternoon.  Within hours this news was on the web site of most major news paper in the country, ESPN, Yahoo sports – and it ignited our social media like nothing else – when we announced that the legendary Coach, Hal Mumme, will become the next Head Football Coach for Belhaven University.

You’re going to love Coach Hal Mumme.  He is our kind of leader and educator.  It is so affirming how this all came about, as we’ve seen God’s hand carefully guiding Hal and Behaven to come together.

It is remarkable to have Hal come here – he loves the Lord, he loves Belhaven, he is a legend of college coaching as the architect of modern football offensive strategy, a former SEC football coach (the only one at Kentucky to beat Alabama), and has also coached at the Division III level.
Hal’s wife June is a national advocate for breast cancer awareness and created the push to encourage football players at all levels to wear pink in their game uniforms during the month of October.  She is a business woman of significance, and has written a wonderful book that tells the story of their lives in coaching. They have some great kids, one of whom is head football coach at LaGrange College.

Congratulations to Scott Little for having a steady hand to get us through this wild ride to get to this moment.  We owe Scott a Christmas/New Years Holiday, because he didn’t get an ounce of a break dealing with over 150 candidates for our Head Football Coach position.

Join us for a press conference to meet Hal on Tuesday at 1pm in Barber Auditorium.

Blazers Name Hal Mumme Head Football Coach

JACKSON, Miss.- Belhaven University and the Department of Athletics is pleased to announce that Hal Mumme will be the next Head Football Coach. Mumme comes to Belhaven from Southern Methodist University, where he served as an Assistant Coach and Passing Game Coordinator under Head Coach June Jones in 2013.

“I heard for years Hal Mumme’s reputation as a football genius and innovator,” said Belhaven University President Dr. Roger Parrott. “Then when I got to know him personally, I was amazed at how what we as football fans see on the field is just the tip of the iceberg of this remarkable coach and leader. I am excited for our students, our players, and our alumni, because Belhaven football is going to join the “Air-Raid” and soar, with Hal Mumme coming to be our head coach.”

Under the coaching of Mumme, SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert set multiple single game and single season records during the 2013 season. Gilbert racked up 635 yards of total offense against Temple, seventh most in a game in NCAA history. Gilbert also recorded single season school records, second for most total offensive yards (3795), second in passing yards (3528), and first in completions (335). As a team, the Mustangs recorded 5,222 total yards with 4,097 of those yards coming through the air in 2013.

“I want to thank Hal for his work over the past year,” said SMU Head Coach June Jones. “He is an innovator and a friend. I really enjoyed the time we spent together. We wish him well at Belhaven.”

Mumme not only brings experience as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level, but has been a head coach at Division I Kentucky, New Mexico State, and Southeastern Louisiana. Mumme was also the Head Coach at NCAA Division II Valdosta State, Iowa Wesleyan (NAIA), and most recently McMurry (Division III and now Division II).

Mumme spent four seasons at McMurry and led the team to a 27-16 record, including three consecutive winning seasons. Mumme resurrected a McMurry program that had lost 13 consecutive games and had not had a winning season for eight years prior to his arrival. In 2011, Mumme posted a 9-3 record with the team and secured McMurry’s first postseason victory since 1949 by beating Trinity in the first round of the Division III playoffs.

Mumme began his coaching career in the NAIA at Iowa Wesleyan in 1989 and led the Tigers to the playoffs in 1991. In 1992, he moved on to NCAA Division II Valdosta State and then to Kentucky in the SEC where he coached Number One NFL Draft Pick Tim Couch. In 1998, the Wildcats went 7-5 and played in the Outback Bowl, becoming the first coach to take the team to a New Year’s Day bowl game since Bear Bryant in 1951. He is the only coach in the modern era at Kentucky to beat Alabama and numerous college head coaches’ are part of his coaching tree, including current Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach.

“Everyone who knows football realizes Coach Mumme is bringing excitement and successful experience to our program,” said Belhaven Vice President for Athletics Scott Little. “I’m also thankful for the shared vision we have for developing young men in the arena of Christ-centered higher education and championship athletics. We welcome Hal and June to the Blazer family.”

Coach Mumme will be officially introduced at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 PM.

Belhaven University is a member of the NAIA, Southern States Athletic Conference and Mid-South Conference and sponsors 15 intercollegiate sports. Belhaven is an institution that focuses on preparing students academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus.

Not Too Late To Get a Flu Shot

I got my flu shot this weekend at a local pharmacy…..then saw this in the Clarion Ledger today and glad I did.

This year’s flu strain is not one to ignore:

The highly contagious upper respiratory virus spreads easily in public areas where people may cough or sneeze, said Dr. Andrew Eisenberg, medical adviser to Families Fighting Flu. Often, 20 percent of the population can become infected. The younger subset, exposed to the pandemic strain and without prior immunity or vaccination, have robust immune systems but end up dying because of their exaggerated response to infection, he said.

“We are seeing it — and this is nationwide — in people under the age of 65,” Dobbs said. “It alarms us that, of the people that we’ve looked at that have died, not a one of them has received a flu shot.”

It takes two weeks to become effective after you receive the shot, so don’t put it off.

Our Belhaven University employee insurance covers the cost in full.

Joe Rooks urged friends on Facebook to get the flu vaccine.flu

After a trip to the emergency room, a doctor’s heads-up on flu deaths, a night he thought he might become one and a week of missed work, Joe Rooks of Raymond knows: This flu strain is nothing to play around with.

He posted an ER pic of himself on Facebook as a public service announcement, urging friends to get the flu vaccine.

“I have had probably one flu shot in 20 years,” Rooks said. He hadn’t gotten flu in a while, so figured, why bother? His Saturday cough and scratchy throat progressed to pretty bad in a day. By Tuesday, he was much worse and in a doctor’s office, feeling faint, nauseated and throwing up blood. They sent him to the emergency room.

His ER doctor told him two 30-year-olds had died from flu there already this season, a 52-year-old man next door had been put on life support, and it was “critical” that people get the flu shot, said Rooks, who’d turned 52 just days before.

“It can hit you fast, and it can kill you,” the Revell Ace Hardware co-owner said Friday, still recovering at home from his brutal bout. “It’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy.”

Read the rest HERE