Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Call for Transparency...

With everything that's been taking place on campus this week, there have been a lot of questions posed, with very little answers given.

Some of us are scared of what lies ahead. Some of us are invigorated by the opportunity to start all over.

Now matter what end of the spectrum we fall on, there is one common thought amongst all of us...


In a matter of three days, THREE DAYS, our fate was decided for us.

Sure these issues didn't just pop up over the weekend like a bad rash; they had been building for quite some time.

But keep in mind this was a decision made by a board of directors that none of us, at least to our knowledge, had the pleasure of ever meeting, let alone the opportunity to state our case.

Do not be fooled. This was a tough decision for them, to be sure, but it wasn't made with the best interests of the students of TUFW in mind. It was made for

Let's call it like it is.

We don't speak these words out of bitterness, We speak them out of what little understanding we have of the situations that have been brought to light.

It's still too early in the game to fully comprehend and understand what's happened, all the reasons for why it happened, and who really benefits the most from what's happened.

But since we haven't been given any answers as of yet, we'll let their words and actions speak for them.

First, we wish to point you towards the
Chronicle-Tribune of Grant County...

Dr. Steve Bedi, provost of Taylor University, said the move will probably mean student growth in [the] Upland campus, and will help the university reach its 2016 goal of 2,500 students...

So wait, Taylor University Fort Wayne is was expandable? We knew we could find some sort of good out of this whole situation, but we didn't think about the benefits this could have for Upland. Wow, how selfish of us to not keep that in mind.

We could look at it this way, the closing of TUFW makes funding for Upland's new building projects a little easier.

Oh wait, you didn't know about those?...

Plans for a vast extension of the Nussbaum Science Center are currently under way. The proposed building extension will more than double the current size of the Nussbaum Science Building.

Doubling the size of an already adequate building is usually a good plan when another campus has been financially bringing you down.

And don't forget, it can get pretty cold in Upland...

Research is being conducted to assess the usefulness and functionality of a tunnel which would act as a campus backbone for fiver optics and other utilities. Additionally, this tunnel would be a prime pedestrian route in unfavorable weather...

We understand that we're students of the Fort Wayne campus and all, so it maybe it's just beyond our own comprehension, but that sounds like a pretty fancy tunnel.

In another article describing the ambitious science center...

Yet this building is no typical building project and it reflects much of what is distinctive about Taylor University...Our attention to value engineering opportunities, that is, to more economical ways of achieving the same goal, reflect our stewardship of material resources...

One campus is floundering in financial ruin because of poor decisions and the inability to act in a timely manner. Another campus continues its steady growth in elaborate facilities while closing down the previous campus.

Yep, sounds like good stewardship to me.

Lastly, we want to point out the "real" reason our campus is being closed down...

...the university’s president announced Monday, citing a poor business model and a “downward spiral” of enrollment as the chief causes...

Poor business model? Well, who's fault was that? Wasn't TUFW a part of
Taylor University as a whole?

Who implemented the business model? Where are the decisions regarded TUFW ran through? Oh yes...the answer to those questions is simple: Taylor University Upland.

It was Upland's job to put someone in place to run this campus in a way that was "financially viable". They did that. It was just eight years too late.

Giving Dr. Kilty two years to turn this campus around, when it was already apparent for many years prior that we were on the downslope, was poor, inexcusable management.

"Whelp, we bought you with the intention of making money off of you, but that didn't work out. So, see ya later..."

As for the "downward spiral" of enrollment? Didn't this year see a huge leap in freshmen enrollment? Weren't there some positive, money-making ideas floating around the campus?

This whole semester we were led to believe of some major improvements taking place around TUFW.

Honestly, this semester had been one of the most encouraging and exciting ones for me, in light of all that was going to be taking place here. Unfortunately, we were never given enough time to prove our worth to

We understand that we may come across as "whiney, immature reactionaries" in all of this, and you would probably be right in labeling us as such.

In fact, it may even come across as hypocritical, seeing that I, Jared, wrote a post for the school's student blog, extolling the virtues of not becoming bitter and understanding that God will see us through the troubles we are now faced with.

We both still believe that. We truly do.

But God did not cause TUFW to close. We don't believe He had this plan in place all along. Did He know it was going to happen? Of course. Did He WANT it to happen? We can't imagine why, though we are not privy to His thoughts.

This was a result of men and women. The closing of TUFW was the decision a board of directors made. We believe they were sincere and good-intentioned in their search for answers, though we are not pleased one bit with their decision given the evidence that this was NOT an unavoidable outcome.

Before you even say it, we know.

We weren't in those meetings. We don't have all the facts before us. We don't know the statistics. We don't understand the business side of it.

Yada yada yada...

You're right. We don't know. And THAT is the problem. We are calling for transparency in this matter.

Complete and utter transparency.

We deserve that.

TUFW deserves that.

Jared Murray and Tyler Morningstar

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm just saying...

At times in my life, I can be a pretty cynical human being.

I think I've seen, heard, and done enough things to make any good Christian boy question the motives of most people.

About a year and a half ago I took my jr. high youth group to a three day conference at Anderson University called Believe.

They had a featured artist. His name was Robert Pierre. He was fourteen years old.

The kid could definitely sing, but I was more embarrassed than I was impressed by him. Over the course of the next three days the event staff deemed Robert's talent decent enough to force feed us his songs, commercials, and music videos.

Reason #47 why I have such a disdain for the Christian subculture: Robert Pierre's music video...

Someone please put this kid in little league and get him a girlfriend.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Guilt vs. Freedom

I read this article today on

It's funny that this topic has been popping up in a lot of what I read lately, because it's one that I've been contemplating in my own life the last few months. Then again, maybe I'm just drawn to the idea itself.

Either way, some things that stick out to me:

"We [Christians] feel guilty if we stay out too late on Saturday and sleep through church on Sunday morning. We feel guilty if the physical components of our relationships with our girlfriends or boyfriends 'go too far.' We feel guilty if we don’t give money to the Church or spend the right amount of time in prayer. Unfortunately, many believers are driven to do these things—pray, tithe, attend church, remain sexually pure—by a rabid sense of duty."

I agree with this statement in the sense that many of us DO do these things out of a sense of guilt, but where I may want to stress understanding is that we can not let this thinking divert us from holy living as well.

There have been many times in my own life when knowledge, or what I perceive to be the truth, has afforded me the opportunity to exercise my sinful nature, just because I was telling myself I shouldn't do the opposite out of guilt. Sometimes guilt can be a good thing, at least in the sense that it motivates us to no longer continue in what is making us guilt ridden.

Too often though, we can allow our guilt to stiffen our actions; whereupon it becomes this apathetic, dry religion that we claim, instead of the passion filled, adventurous faith we can live.

To sum this post up, I can think of no better way than to leave you with the author's final paragraph:

"It seems a passionless faith may be one reason so many find our faith unattractive and disingenuous. We must revive the great idea of our great God. We must rediscover the great commission and great commandment. We must pursue a passion-driven Christianity. If our faith is to become a transformative, redemptive power within the culture, we need to flee guilt-driven, duty-centered puppetry and call down a passion for the great idea of the Gospel."


Saturday, August 2, 2008

First Edition of Push Ups Different From All Other Editions...

Having pretty much taken the whole summer off from posting, I've decided it's high time to get things going here at PUSH, and to kick us off, we're going to hit the ground running with a new feature.

At the end of each week, I'll post the top links that Tyler and I have come across in the previous days. Some of these items may be informative, while others could just be there for our own random amusement. Either way you slice it, I'm in charge of this blog, and you are not; so you'll take it.

Without further ado, I give you the first installment of Push Ups. (Because our name is PUSH, get it????)

  • Burnside had this to say and I can't say I find much to disagree with...

That's it for this week. Tune in next time.

Oh, we'll feed you, baby birds...


Thursday, July 24, 2008


Yes, we are back. Sorry it took so long! Jared and I got really caught up with what we were doing with our jobs and what not that Push had to take a backseat but hopefully we'll be back and up and running more smoothly and frequently as the school year gets closer to starting.

Anyway, I put up a post for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because I just wanted to make sure you all knew we were still alive and that Push is also still alive.

The second reason is because I was thinking that we never really got the type of community interaction we were looking for. Like we've said from the very beginning, we want you guys to submit things to us whether it's on Facebook or email. That way we can make them actual posts and give you credit to your ideas and make this a "community" type of blog as opposed to just two guys that blab the whole time. So with that said, please add some style to the blog! Add some of your creativity and thoughts! Let's try to mix things up a bit that way Jared and I don't feel like we have to come up with something new and awesome every week or whatever.

The third and last reason I made a post was because I wanted to share something that I read that really hit my heart and I'm not going to go into detail about what I think about it. I'm just going to share it and I'd like to know you're first reactions and thoughts and hopefully it will spark a discussion. My first reaction was sympathy for the man that said it, shame for the church, and a sudden determination to make that type of alienation terminate forever.

What I read was from the book What's So Amazing About Grace? by Phillip Yancey and in this book he (Yancey) was talking to a gay man for awhile and then he turned to Yancey and said, "It's easier for me to find sex on the street than it is to get a hug in a church?"

What do you think about that?


Thursday, May 22, 2008

This is why I'm hot...

I had a dream this morning that the world was coming to an end. For some unknown reason, the Earth had been knocked off its orbit and thrown closer towards the sun. As a result, we were all gonna burn.

In that dream, I prayed wholeheartedly that God would spare us from our impending doom. I think I may have even cried. It just seemed completely contradictory to what Revelations talked about. I actually remember feeling kind of mislead, as if God had somehow swindled me like an infomercial guru.

The most vivid detail I can recall was getting down on my knees and praying like it was about to go out of style.

Imagine the joy in my heart when I opened my eyes and I was laying in my bed.

Now, do I thank God for answering my prayer, or should I just shrug it all off on the count of my silly imagination and fears?

I won't lie, I've thanked Him multiple times already.

I think He appreciates that.


Monday, May 19, 2008

God...So Easy A Caveman Could Do It...

I guess I can just come right out and say it...

I have a short fuse when it comes to people using God.

Now, we all in some fashion use God for our own purposes from time to time, myself especially. What gets to me though, is when we use Him for insurance purposes, like those neanderthals from the Gieco commercials.

When there's an accident.

When there's trouble on the horizon.

When it's convenient.

Don't get me wrong, God wants us to go to Him when we are unsure and in need of guidance. It just seems to me that, at least in my own life, it happens more out of convenience as opposed to necessity. Ultimately I NEED to engage God, but WHEN I engage Him is something I exercise at my own will.

I think God intended for it to be this way, but it creates some issues.

How do we, here on this Earth, ascertain the meaning behind other people's actions? How can we identify their intentions? It's cliche, yet true, that we can not judge for ourselves the intentions of others. Although this notion brings me little comfort. I still struggle with it.

I used to think that this selfless act on God's part, seemingly blind trust in us, was just that: Him trusting us to "love" Him for the right purposes. But then I realized that it's not at all about trust. It's about God's assurance in Himself.

He doesn't need any of us. When we act poorly and in sin, it breaks His colossal heart, but He can still make through to the end of the day.

It's funny.

Funny how even in the smallest moment of the day, we can so easily forget how reliant we are upon Him, even if we acknowledge His existence or not.

I don't know. It's 4:30 in the morning and my body needs sleep, so you should take this post with a grain of salt. Or a heaping amount, whichever you prefer.

You may commence with the eye-rolling.