Many preachers understand how to take off, but don’t know how to land. They can introduce a sermon, but they struggle with providing an effective conclusion. In this blog, I am describing three characteristics of an effective conclusion and offer some approaches that you can incorporate into your preaching.
When most people think about entrepreneurship, business endeavors most likely come to mind. It’s true – entrepreneurship and business go hand in hand and an entrepreneurial mindset often is the creative genesis that identifies a business opportunity and the revelation of what it takes to transform the idea into a successful enterprise. Utilizing the same thought process and applying some of the profitable principles can yield favorable results in other areas as well. Incorporating an entrepreneurial approach to the “business” of life, in general, can help one create and lead an extraordinary, meaningful life that is filled with purpose, accomplishment, and fulfillment.
While the Bible provides guidance on the topic of money management, sometimes it can be difficult to translate those lessons into daily practice. Lanny Rogers, MBA in Finance from the University of Dallas, CPA candidate, and Certified Treasury Professional shares his best tips, tricks, secrets and advice for financial planning.
Not only did Tolkien weave real-world words and sounds into his constructed languages, but he also wove real-world legends into his languages and tales. These tales often initially wound their way into the story through the use of a name as seen in his previous quote: “To me a name comes ﬁrst, and the story follows.” Several names did not originate in the languages and cultures that he invented, but instead came from his reading of old literature as a philologist and academic. One of these names, possibly one of the first to influence his legendarium was Eärendil. Tolkien found this name in the Old English poem Crist. He was fascinated by these two lines:
“éala éarendel engla beorhtast/ofer middangeard monnum sended”
(Hail, Eárendil, brightest of angels/over middle-earth sent to men).
Strategies to witness to religious cults differ widely. I am going to bring several of these together to prompt you to find those ideas that best fit your personality and knowledge of the Bible. My first overarching principle is that you befriend rather than argumentatively defend! Interestingly, it has been said that 80% of Christians within two years of being saved have ZERO non-Christian friends, and yet Jesus was a “friend of sinners.” If we first build relationships, we can gain an audience, not by berating the religious cults, but by genuinely caring for them and their eternal destination. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan said, “It is possible to be biblically correct, theologically astute, homiletically accurate, doctrinally sound, and spiritually useless.” Likewise, Dr. Francis Schaeffer stated, “Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the whole world.”
Imagine King Solomon gawking at an iPad. We’ve come a long way from papyrus scrolls, cuneiform tablets, scribes, printing presses, telegrams, and even being solely dependent on handwritten letters delivered by the Pony Express. Technological advancements and globalization have definitely changed how our society (and most of the world) engages information. We are constantly inundated with massive amounts of information; we rarely encounter any data solely by itself. TV shows have ads for other TV shows in the bottom corners of screens. News channels will report on one issue, while several other headlines cruise by underneath. No single web page is complete without multiple scrollbars, links, and the bombardment of the occasional pop-up; we automatically know that no matter where we travel on the Web, we will be greeted with an onslaught of images, colors, and words.
Many of the cults continue to grow despite glaring errors in doctrine and regardless of abuse which some of their members suffer. You might ask, “How do they keep growing with these things against them?” A multitude of books have been written by cultists who have escaped their situations. The stories are often horrifying, but the cults continue drawing individuals. Let’s look at five reasons I believe the cults continue to grow despite of evidence of their false teachings.
How does it feel when someone praises your accomplishments? Do you suddenly feel inspired, sharp and ready to take on new challenges? Science shows that there are many psychological effects of praise. Used correctly, praise can boost self-esteem, increase performance and supercharge productivity. Used incorrectly or not at all, it can tear down and render the most high-powered team impotent.
The cults present many doctrinal areas that Christians disagree with, and they challenge apologists to devise sound arguments by which the errors can be exposed. However, the religious cultists also do many things which are noteworthy and that Christians should emulate. Below is a number of actions and activities of religious cultists that should be learned and practiced as spiritual disciplines by Christians.