David and Goliath: Malcom Gladwell

dgI just fished listening to the book,  David and Goliath:  Underdogs Misfits, and the art of Battling Giants  by Malcolm Gladwell.  I saw the his TED talk on the theme of  the book and was intrigued by the unique look at a familiar story.  So I downloaded the book from Audible and began to listen to and from work, commuting.  It captured my imagination.  I have read several of Gladwell’s books so I knew it would be good, but this one was surprising in the way I personality connected with the book.  Gladwell has a way of telling stories that connect.  He shares so many details and turns the angle on a story to show you something from a different perspective.  He has a way to open your mind to new understanding and inspire you in some way.

I was struck by one of the final chapters as he explained a clear contrast of law, justice, and payback verses the idea of grace and forgiveness.  Gladwell contrasted two riveting stories of parents who’s daughters were murdered and the different approach to dealing with grief and continuing in live.  The different perspectives each family took and how that effected healing was fascinating.

This book is a must read and has provoked and challenged my thinking.  It pushes the reader to rethink the notions that one has and begin to look at life and situations from a different angle.  Gladwell will compel you to look at a situation in a clearer more focused way.

Check out David and Goliath:  Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants today you won’t be disappointed!

  • Have you read the book or seen the TED Talk?
  • What did you think about them?
  • What was your favorite story or idea that was raised?


Custom Banners for Chapel Services

100_0550Often Chaplains have various places to hold and host services.  Over the years I have used custom banners for my chapel services both deployed and in garrison chapels.  The company I used to create various banners is Group Imaging.  They are able to create portable, professional, custom banners for any situation.  You can create themes for children’s ministry, coffee houses, chapel back drops.  They have been great to work with and I have been very satisfied with the product that I received.

I have made a Chapel in a box kit that I use for deployment and special occasion services.  I have deployed this kit twice to Iraq and several training exercises across the country.

Also they designed 6 large banners for use at Chapel Next, Ft. Campbell.  Proofs for the designs (Click Here)

There are various sign and banner companies that can create products for you so look around.

Things to look for are:

  • Quality
  • Material
  • Portability
  • Customizable or stock graphics

Another company that offers various stock designs is Outreach.  They have a large selection of predesigned products that could enhance your ministry.

Ancient City of UR (Iraq 2007) Pictures

The Great Ziggurat of UR was built as a place of worship, dedicated to the moon god Nanna in the Sumerian city of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia.  The temple was constructed in approximately the 21st century BC by King Ur-Nammu.  UR is the traditional birthplace of Abraham the father of the three Monotheistic faiths.  Today, after more than 4000 years the ziggurat is still well preserved in large part as the only major reminder of Ur in present-day southern Iraq.  I visited this location May 24, 2007.  It is located near Tallil Air base, Iraq.

Expository Preaching Defined

A classic definition from Haddon Robinson’s book Biblical Preaching:

“Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, and literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the preacher, then through him to his hearers.”

There is a lot packed into the definition isn’t there?  I was taught that when preaching, you must “let the text win.”  Sometimes we come with our own ideas and agendas as we approach the Bible.  However, as we read, study, and pray, our goal must be to understand what God is saying, so we then can speak for God to our listeners.  Questions about context, authorial intent, and how the passage fits within the overall story of God and the Church, must be looked at examined.  A preacher must come humbly to God’s word, seeking to find and distill the message that should be delivered.

The definition says, “expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept.”  While this is true, the definition doesn’t stop there.  Robinson expands the definition, as if anticipating questions from his students.  How?  What do you mean?  Yes, but . . . Tell me more. . .

The biblical concept is “derived and transmitted through” or the Biblical Idea is gathered and delivered

*Study (Context:Historical,Grammatical, Literary)

*Spirit (apply what learned personally through personality and experience)

This is an approach that a preacher should have in sifting the message from the Bible to the hears.  This idea makes me picture a gold miner who sifts all the excess rock and dirt aside to find the gold.  All the work and sweat and pain is worth it for a tiny fleck of gold found in the sifting pan.  Expository does carry with it the idea to “expose.”  We are called to expose the truths of God revieled in His Word.  This is what we do as preachers.

We mine the scriptures, remove the clutter and hold up the truth gleaned from God’s Word!

Our charge is to communicate a Biblical idea discovered through Study and the Holy Spirit.  Own the truth ourselves then present it to our listeners.

Read, Study, Pray!  Discover the Big Idea and then share it!

  • Have you heard this before?
  • What do you think about this definition?
  • Are there things you would add or qualify?
  • How do you define preaching?

5 Subscription Media Sites to check out for Chapel Services

Often when leading a chapel service, I look for helps to add creative elements that will help make my point and add some professionalism to the service.  In the Chaplaincy, we don’t have graphic designers and media people on staff, however there are many sites that offer yearly subscriptions with unlimited downloads of videos and other media content.

Here are my top 5 resources for Subscription Media sites.

Igniter Media –  This is one of my Favorite media sites.  You can get a membership of purchase ala-cart.  They have great quality videos, moving backgrounds, and slides for use with sermons or lyric slides.

Grace Way Media– This site has 1000’s of graphic resources geared for sermon series and announcements.  Great for professional marketing of Chapel events.

Centerline New Media – Another sites with various videos and themed backgrounds.  This sight has great seasonal elements.

Hyper Pixels Media The leased expensive subscription lots of unique media elements.  Countdowns, trivia games,and videos.

The Work Of The People (TWOTP) A media resource that has liturgical resources that go with the reading of the calendars.  Also various teaching clips from various thought leaders.  The media from this site has a little more rough style to it.  Lots of great content.

These sites are my top picks check them out and let me know what you think.

  • Do you have favorite sites that you go to for resources?
  • What do you find helpful to your ministry?