Ministry Evernote for Pastors Need help to get that study organized on a Monday morning? Ron Edmondson with a short but helpful e-book ($1.99) on how Pastors can use Evernote. Michael Hyatt is probably even more fanatical about Evernote than I am. Here’s an index to his helpful posts.
Starbucks and Vocation Yes, as Matt Perman highlights, we can glorify God by making good coffee. I wish every Grand Rapids Starbucks employee would read this.
Counseling Faith or Genetic Testing?
Paul Tautges shares his family’s ethical and spiritual struggles as they seek the Lord’s will for their 7 year-old-daughter. Includes a helpful paragraph on common grace.
Culture Leadership’s New Direction
After conducting a survey of over 500 current business school students The Harvard Business Review concludes “that their worldviews and backgrounds differ strikingly from previous generations. With 100,000 graduating from US Business schools every year, Christian leaders should think through the challenging conclusions. They include:
Politics $15 Trillion and counting. Somebody please tell me that this is not really happening. “On Wednesday, the federal government’s total debt exceeded fifteen trillion dollars. That’s $48,000 in debt per citizen and over $133,000 in debt per taxpayer. Adding in all U.S. debt, including personal (mortgages, credit cards, student loans), plus government at all levels, the debt is approaching an incomprehensible $55 trillion, representing almost $661,000 per American family.”
Video Got this via The Christian Pundit. Skip the intro and fast forward to 3.16. As Bill says: “It led me to marvel, and to worship God: “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1) There is tremendous beauty, intricacy and mystery declaring God’s glory all around us, even in a groaning, fallen creation (Romans 8:22). How incredibly beautiful heavenly glory must be. How incredibly beautiful and marvelous the new creation will be!”
Theology The Marrow of Modern Divinity
“I’ve come to believe that one of the most significant theological controversies the modern church must acquaint itself with is the controversy surrounding the Marrow of Modern Divinity.” So says Nick Batzig and I agree. Nick points us in the right direction for lectures and books on the subject.
Rebecca Vandoodewaard gave a much-appreciated address on hospitality at the PRTS Ministry Wives Institute this week, and now she’s sharing some of that also on her blog (Part 1, Part 2).
5 ways higher education is leveraging Mobile Tech. “Technology in education usually means places of higher learning play a bit of catch-up, but those who start embracing mobile now with development and budget resources will be ahead of the curve for years to come. Check out what Purdue University’s done with mobile learning with their remarkable Studio Project. In particular, the project’s Hotseat app takes status updates and creates a “collaborative classroom” by allowing students to provide near real-time feedback during class. The idea is that professors can then adjust the course content and improve the overall learning experience.”
We’ve all heard it and many of us have said it. Jerry Weismann has noticed a surge of such filler language in public speaking and urges, Never ask “Does that make sense?”
Why? Weismann says the expressions has two negative implications:
• Uncertainty on the part of the speaker about the accuracy or credibility of the content • Doubt about the ability of the audience to comprehend or appreciate the content.
He wants us to consign the phrase to “the ranks of fillers, empty words that surround and diminish meaningful words, just as weeds diminish the beauty of roses in a garden.” The phrase would have lots of company:
“You know…” as if to be sure the listener is paying attention
“Like I said…” as if to say that the listener didn’t understand
“Again…” as if to say that the listener didn’t get it the first time
“I mean…” as if to say that the speaker is unsure of his/her own clarity
“To be honest…” as if to say the speaker was not truthful earlier
“I’m like…” the universal filler which says absolutely nothing
He goes on: “While all of the preceding cast doubt on the competence of the presenter or the audience, another group of phrases and words casts doubt on the content itself:”
Weismann says that every filler word or phrase devalues the family jewels, the nouns and verbs that represent the products, services, and actions of the business (or sermon). So delete them from your sermon and your speech.
Does that make sense?
Any other fillers you want to consign to oblivion?
Joe Thorn is Lead Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, IL and is the author of the great little book Note To Self. On this week’s Connected Kingdom podcast, Tim and I took the opportunity to ask Joe what it means to be gospel-centered, whether the gospel truly applies to all of life, and then to give some practical pointers for how to preach the gospel to yourself in joy and in pain.
I would echo what Tim said on his blog about our discussion:
The phrase “gospel-centered” is fast entering the Evangelical mainstream. We are encouraged to be gospel-centered or to preach the gospel to ourselves. It is easy to say but, in my experience, far more difficult to do. This morning David Murray and I spoke with Joe Thorn about this very thing. Speaking personally I found it very, very helpful. So why don’t you give it a listen? It will take less than 30 minutes of your time and I think you’ll be well-rewarded for the effort.
If you want to give us feedback or join in the discussion, go ahead and look up our Facebook Group or leave a comment right here. You will always be able to find the most recent episode here on the blog. If you would like to subscribe via iTunes, you can do that here or if you want to subscribe with another audio player, you can try this RSS link.