GET STUFF DONE.

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Oops :3 Image source.

Hey friends! Pat here. We are now on week 6 here at seminary and boy, are we feeling the burn. We're halfway through the first trimester and our calendars are getting a bit more colorful (unless you only use one ink color). Having said that, I'd like to share a few time management tools--methods and apps--that have worked for me in the past. With the exception of Google Calendar, I admit that I'm yet to apply/use them while I'm in grad school so this post is also partly for me. It's high time for me to come up with a game plan.

So let's look at the list, shall we?

Seminary Diaries: (Almost) One Month In

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Friends, I [Patricia] am feeling it.

Assignments to be turned in.
Lectures to review.
Papers to be researched.
Papers to be written.
Books to be read.

I am feeling it and I'm loving it.

SAMSON'S MISTAKE AND HOPE AFTER BAD HAIRCUTS (JUDGES 16:22)

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Jan Havicksz Steen, Samson and Delilah (1668) - Holland, oil on canvas

I have a new Bible verse to rank among my favorites. But hold on- it may actually surprise you. 

Behold, Judges 16:22:

"But the hair on [Samson's] head began to grow again after it had been shaved."

"Huh? Why is that so meaningful?" Well, remember that Samson's hair represented his Nazirite vow and commitment to the Lord. (In Judges 13:4, his mother was told: "You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.") Remember also that both his hair and his power were shorn from him after one climactic moment of disobedience. But God wasn't through with him yet.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS BEHIND-THE-SCENES REEL (COMIC CON 2015)

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It was only a matter of time before you saw a Star Wars post on this blog, yeah? Don't worry, it won't be the last. :)

A behind-the-scenes look at Episode VII debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 last week, and it is a thing of beauty. Check it out below. The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th.



Oh, one more thing: if you're a SW fan and you haven't read How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor, let me Force Persuade you to check it out.  The front cover blurb is right: it's not just fascinating history, it's also "a creativity manual" to boot. ;)  --C.

10 THINGS I LEARNED IN SEMINARY - #4-10: THE FINAL EDITION

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[Don't worry- this is "The Final Edition" for this series only. Carlo will be posting new articles highlighting the "Culture" district of Victapolis soon, and Pat has some new content coming as well!]

Today I’m posting the remaining 7 of the “10 Things I Learned in Seminary” in one little article. Why, you may ask? Well, starting next week I’ll be engaged in English tutoring, TA responsibilities for a seminary class, and more research for my book project. Moreover, there are a few other opportunities on the horizon that I won’t mention just yet ;) That combined with the prospect of other Victapolis articles means you get the whole "10 Things" enchilada right here and now!

A little disclaimer: During my three years of seminary, I learned much more than can be shared in a single post. Consider these broad strokes just a sampling of the whole!

10 THINGS I LEARNED IN SEMINARY - #3: CULTURE MATTERS

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It was the discovery that rocked my world.

Flashback to my Biblical Theology of Missions class in 2012. I was poring over Acts 17:16-34 (which describes Paul’s ministry in Athens), with an aim to determine whether the apostle modified his theology to reach non-Jews or plowed ahead with the same ministry methods he used in earlier settings. I came to his speech in the Areopagus council which includes two quotations in 17:28: “’For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” And while doing some research on these lines, it hit me.

Paul didn’t quote the Old Testament or even “secular” poets in his Acts 17 sermon.

However, he did quote two poems fashioned to extol the glories of the Greek god Zeus. And as we will find, the implications here for our ministries are staggering.

10 THINGS I LEARNED IN SEMINARY - #2: PREACHING POINTS

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[If you missed Carlo's first post on "Biblical Languages," check it out here! All the same, read on for some preaching tips he has learned over the past few years in this week's installment of "10 Things."]

"Great preachers aren't bornthey're developed." What do you think? I saw this posted on Facebook recently and I really do agree. After all, whether someone is clearly born with communication skills or God gifts them with preaching grace later in life, it stands that every minister will likely look back on their early sermons with a head shake and a smile.

Heck, I'm no different. I preached my first sermons in 2009 and there are certainly phrases, paragraphs and entire preaching times I wish I could take back. But I've learned a thing or two since then, both in seminary and behind the pulpit. Here are 16 things I've come to realize:

16 TRUTHS ABOUT PREACHING

1. Louder does not mean “more anointed.”

2. Faster does not mean “more anointed.”

3. Preaching with a manuscript does not mean “less anointed.”

4. Boring preaching is a sin unless you love boring preaching. (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”)

5. All the exegesis in the world means nothing if your church is asleep.

Seminary Diaries: The First Two Weeks

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Hey friends! Patricia here :) At the time of this post's writing, Carlo and I have just returned from the last Spiritual Emphasis Week chapel service. Our guest speaker from New Zealand ministered to us on prophecy and the prophetic office. This encouraged me to really go deeper in the Word because through it, the Lord always speaks.

Anyway, it's now been two weeks since I started classes at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary. The first class sessions have been good and I'm adjusting well to life on campus. I've gotten to know more people through orientation week, my classes, meal times, and chapel. It's also good to reconnect with some old friends I met when Carlo was still a student. I'm so grateful to the Lord for placing us here. APTS is amazing :)

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