For the past several years, I’ve been a part of a team that crisscrosses the nation to work with local churches–hundreds of them. At the same time, I spend a chunk of my summers poring over church attendance and ministry data, identifying metrics to measure health and real effectiveness, and looking for clues to what can drive the oft-elusive, but greatly-prioritized goal of growth.

Not all of Tolkien’s languages were as fully developed as Sindarin and Quenya. One language’s lack of development is explained through another real-world language attribute – sociolinguistics. The dwarves of Middle-Earth had one language, made for them by the Valar Aulë. This language is Khuzdûl. Tolkien’s dwarves were a rather xenophobic race. As such, they preferred to learn the languages of others rather than teach their language to anyone. Thus, the dwarves spoke Sindarin and Westron whenever they were among the other races and kept their own language secret. This cultural attribute of the dwarves directly affected their language and how much of the language that Tolkien actually had to develop. An example of the dwarves’ multilingualism can be seen in the Sindarin, not Khuzdûl inscription over Moria’s gate.

The scenarios may differ, but the question is the same almost every time. If there is no law, no rule and no written reason not to do something, why not pursue the easiest path? In the world of marketing, this becomes even more relevant with tight deadlines, constrained budgets and goals that are not as clear-cut as they once were. The typical idea of marketing has completely changed, and functioning ethically becomes even more critical in this environment.

During the spring of 2016, SAGU’s history department hosted the seminar “Turning Points in 20th Century America.” Topics included legal issues, economics, marketing, history, music, church history, Christian filmmaking and social activism. Rob Price, M.A., explains the evolution and history of American cinema from the roaring twenties all the way into modern cinema.

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).

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.

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.