Published: March 1st, 2016
When your interests are many, it is easy to get lost in the great sea of “must read” books. Perusing the bookstore can be agonizing for us bibliophiles, as we discover the sheer volume of books demanding our attention. Upon reaching the cashier, I must often shed books collected during my journey through the bookstore.
Published: April 13th, 2017
What could possibly go wrong?
I always laugh when I hear someone say those words because of course anything can go wrong. Or it can go right. But much of that depends on how well we are prepared. In both my personal and professional life, I believe in planning for contingencies. When my kids were little, I didn’t leave the house without extra clothes and diapers. I knew the likelihood of needing them was high. In the professional world, the failure to plan for contingencies can lead to catastrophic failure.
Published: September 27th, 2016
You may ask, why should we care about our ability to communicate? Well, that’s easy. We should care because we want others to understand what we mean. We want to improve our relationships. We want to make sure things get done and in many cases, we want to advance our careers. One of the job skills employers desire most is effective communication. When people communicate effectively, they can build a productive working relationship, solve problems, supervise others, and create trust in the workplace.
Published: February 23rd, 2017
In Spring 2016, the history department hosted the seminar “Turning Points in 20th Century America.” Topics included legal issues, economics, marketing, history, music, church history, Christian film making and social activism. Tyrone Block, D.M.A., explains Shout Band in America’s Black Pentecostal Church during the 1900s.
Published: January 19th, 2017
Published: October 17th, 2017
The last decade of the 20th century brought new vistas of adventure to the world of Bible study. The word of God was unleashed from the printed page to the digitized screen. For those pioneers who first encountered digital Bible study, it has been a fast-paced turn of events to a day where the Bible is now available for instant word-studies on the phone, quick word searches online, and sermons that can be shared to multiple platforms. Whether you get your devotions from a web page, your lessons from a digital platform or the tried and true method of paper and pen, consider these advantages to the new options in digital Bible study.
Published: November 10th, 2016
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.
Published: July 3rd, 2017
As discussed in a previous post, venting is a two-way process that involves the person venting and the person hearing the vent. Healthy, positive venting is focused on how the person hearing the vent shows empathy, creates safety, and participates in active listening (Kurz, 2017; Bryant, 2009; Egan, 2007). Research has concluded that negative venting can lead to higher stress levels and other physical health concerns. Negative venting is not associated with the person venting but rather the active listener and his or her response (Bodie et al., 2015; Goldsmith, 2004).
Published: March 16th, 2017
Venting. We all have done it. As a matter of fact, we probably have done it within the last 24 hours. Have you ever vented and was angry with yourself for doing so? Do I know those times all too well…? So why do we vent? Is it healthy to vent? What can we do when others want to vent? Let’s unpack these questions.
Published: March 9th, 2017
The Bible reflects the importance of sheep in biblical society. The relationship between the sheep and the shepherd was one of intimate knowledge - the shepherd’s duty to watch over and care for each sheep was directly tied to the success of the owner.
Published: December 1st, 2016
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.
Published: March 23rd, 2017
You see them everywhere. People with their heads down looking at their phone, sitting at coffee shops with their laptops, and scrolling through tablets to catch up on the latest news. So how do you become relevant in a noisy world? How do you speak to your community? How can you be heard amidst the many videos, memes, and personality quizzes? The key to promoting your church or ministry through social media is developing a strategy and consistently following the plan.
Published: March 2nd, 2017
In this video, Dr. Jeff Magruder explains the importance of having an awareness of language, culture and other variables when presenting the gospel to non-Christians.
Published: February 2nd, 2017
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.
Published: June 28th, 2016
The sermon introduction is more important now than historically it has ever been. We can no longer assume that simply because we have a title in front of our name, letters after our name, or an open Bible before us that people feel any obligation to pay attention to what we have to say.
Published: May 11th, 2017
Start with one verse wonders.
Romans 3:23 is often quoted when the decision is being made to come to Christ. While verse 23 is certainly true, Paul finishes his thought in verse 24. It’s truly good news.
Published: November 2nd, 2017
This is the second part of our 3 part series on evaluating your sermon before you preach it. In this article we look at three more areas for you to consider when preparing a sermon.
How do you think considering these areas could impact your sermons in a positive way before you ever preach them?
Published: September 28th, 2017
I’ve preached a lot of sermons. Some of them good, and some of them not so good. I now find myself in a different role. Instead of preaching several times a week, I’m at a place where I just get to listen. I listen to a lot of sermons. But I also spend a lot of time thinking about those sermons. What makes a good sermon? What makes a sermon memorable? How can I know those listening are going to live out this message? One of the ways to answer those questions is to have a good system to evaluate your preaching.
Published: January 12th, 2017
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.
Published: October 27th, 2016
There is no shortage of times of crisis when doing business on a global scale. Succeeding or failing in those emergencies depends on successful planning. This type of plan is called strategic planning.