Tuesday, 13 December 2016
This is a seal known as the Adam and Eve Cylinder Seal, or the Temptation Seal, and is housed at the British Museum. The seal was found near Nineveh and dates to about 3500 B.C. The seal depicts two seated figures, a tree, and a serpent, and was formerly believed to evince some connection with Adam and Eve from the Book of Genesis.
These small seals were carved out of stone. When rolled on clay they would leave an impression. The picture on the left depicts the image when the actual cylinder, which is pictured on the right, is rolled across a soft clay or waxy surface. The cylinders were pierced through from end to end so that they could be worn on a string or pin.
Is it a representation of the Adam and Eve story found in Genesis, or is it a simple Akkadian fertility scene?
The picture is copied from ambrosiasociety.org.
Posted on 12/13/2016 11:11 AM by Willem Els
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
We all know that studying online can be difficult. It is you, your computer, and the faceless instructor. Since the classroom is virtual and there is no face-to-face interaction with classmates or the professor it can feel lonely and at times intimidating. So how can you make the most of your online studying experience? These tips can be used for other distance learning schools and not just at NationsUniversity.
Dig deep into the syllabus. This more true for online learning than even at a traditional university. The course syllabus is the controlling document of the course. Not only does it tell you the course goals, the readings, the projects, and the assignments, it also lays out the specifics of what you're supposed to do. Be sure to go over each point of your syllabus, and if something is not absolutely clear to you, e-mail the professor or your advisor to ask for clarification. You can't do it right if you do not have clear understanding of the course expectations.
Get to know your advisor. Given that many distance learning colleges and even online programs at community colleges and 4-year colleges do not have permanent faculties (NationsU is no exception) or do not use the permanent teachers for the online program, it's especially important to make contact with and get to know your advisor. Please continue to correspond with your assigned Advisor. When e-mailing your Advisor, always include your Username in the Subject line, so the Advisor can answer your specific question. Remember courtesies and good manners go along way when you treat others with respect.
Back up your stuff. Since all your homework, papers, tests and projects are going to be submitted electronically, you wouldn't want to lose all your hardwork just because your computer crashed. Also, work you submit can become lost or misplaced. We especially recommend external backups, either on an external hard drive or on an online service, just in case your computer crashes.
Posted on 10/12/2016 9:10 PM by Jon-Roy Sloan
Tuesday, 04 October 2016
Being a Christian means being obedient to all the commands that Jesus has given us. Some are easy to do, like being baptized when we first believed, others are not so easy. How do we know if we are being obedient? Take a look at yourself and ask, "Am I bearing fruit?"
To bear fruit you must "abide in the vine." In John chapter fifteen Jesus plainly explains this to his disciples,
"I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me."
So it is simple, we must abide in Jesus to bear fruit and to abide in Jesus we must be obedient to His teachings. This requires action, James 1:22 tells us we must "be doers of the word, and not hearers only." In other words, don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Too many Christians get hung up on this point. Many of our favorite persons in the Bible get hung up on this too. Moses told God he was unqualified to lead Israel out of Egypt, Mordechai told Esther For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, and what about Isaiah, Then I said, "It's all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips."
God made all of these people clean and righteous, all we need to do is be obedient. Moses picked up a stick and threw it in water to purify it, it was God who purified the water through Moses' obedience; Nineveh repented through Jonah's reluctant obedience; Peter walked on water because he was obedient and got up out of the boat. I encourage you, to see God at work, to see fruit in your life, be obedient to what you hear. The mandate is simple, Jesus didn't make it complicated, "go make disciples." Too often we are looking for a "burning bush" to pull us out of our comfort zone. The burning bush is already there in Scripture. The default is that we should get going, figure out how to make disciples. Take a close look at your "Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the nations" to see where you can have the greatest impact.
Posted on 10/04/2016 7:04 AM by Jon-Roy Sloan
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
What is our calling? To glorify God. How do we do this? One way is telling others about Him. Telling them that there is a God and He wants to have a relationship with you.
In Christianity God reaches down to mankind and initiates the relationship, Not all religions have written scriptures. Not all believe that God has spoken through words to His creation. Again, from the Christian perspective, God has revealed Himself through both the natural order and orally through select humans. The latter is called "divine revelation." If faith is a rational process, then we should be able to deduce its legitimacy from reading the scriptures that claim to be revelation. These scriptures must be reasonable.
It is out duty as Christians to show others where to find God. Why? Because that is what he told us to do.
You never know how God may use you in His works. Read about Amir, a Christian in the Middle East, and learn how he found the courage to share God's word with his neighbor, AMIR'S STORY - FAITH OVER FEAR
Posted on 09/20/2016 7:38 AM by Jon-Roy Sloan
Friday, 16 September 2016
We are excited to announce that we have two new translation extensions being added to all of our courses on our website.
Currently, there are more than 160 current student registrations whose first language is Farsi, Arabic, or another language. Having translated basic courses into these languages several years ago, NU found the challenge of maintaining educational material in languages other than English to be challenging. The burdensome task in both time and costs led to a search for an alternative. This is where developing technologies presented the opportunity for a new direction. NU has now discontinued its in-house effort to translate courses.
Instead, free translation tools have been placed on every course to allow students to read in their own language. These tools are not perfect, of course, but they fall in the 70-80 percent range of accuracy. The beauty is that a student who has some knowledge of English can now instantly-yes, instantly, translate the NU site, special Word and PDF documents, and even external articles and books can be translated. With the simple touch of a mouse, the student can see the original English and the translation into over one hundred languages of choice.
Just look for the translation extensions in the top left corner of each course page. We have students in over 120 countries and whose second language is English. Currently, Google Translate supports 103 languages at various levels and Microsoft Translator supports 53 language systems as of September 2016. We know their is no perfect solution yet. But this is a great leap forward in technology for NU and will be a great benefit to our studentbody.
Posted on 09/16/2016 2:55 PM by Jon-Roy Sloan
Tuesday, 30 August 2016
On Saturday August 20, NationsUniversity held a fundraising dinner at the Holiday Inn Express in Hoover, Alabama outside of Birmingham. There were 97 guest in attendence to listen to Mac Lynn and others tell the story of NU and its mission. Dewayne Spivey opened the event with a prayer and NU Registrar, Mary Virginia Mabery, introduced the guests to the mission work conducted by the University. Mary Virginia said, "I tell people NationsU is actually a fishes and loaves kind of operation. God takes our small offerings and turns it into unmeasurable treasure. Matt (her husband) and I both have our Master's degrees in Christian Missions, have done mission work in various fields, and know a lot of misisonaries and NU is truly the most efficient use of missions money we have ever seen because it trains leaders where they are and breaks into many places most missionaries can't."
(L to R: dinner table, Marty Lynn talking about work in Muslim countries, Registrar Mary Virginia Mabery addresses the guest while Mac Lynn enjoys his dinner)
NU Director of Communications showed a video mash-up of student testimony and another video on how NationsUniversity started twenty years ago offering affordable, accessible, excellence in religious education. Rick Sirmon introduced NU Chancellor Mac Lynn. Rick told the assembled guests, "What most excites me about NU and what it can do... Since its founding in 1995, NationsUniversity has served over 30,000 students in more than 145 countries, awarding bachelors and master's degrees in religious studies. Students can choose the degree track or the non-degree track."
Chancellor Mac Lynn shared how he was inspired by seeing God at work. He wanted the guests to envision the future of NationsUniversity and how it was reaching the lost around us, namely the refugees in Europe. As the diaspora from Muslim nations continues, NationsUniversity supporters around the world are using NU as a vehicle to share the Gospel with these refugees.
We are proud to announce that the Lord blessed the night and over $20,000 was raised to support the NationsUniversity mission. We want to extend a big thank you to the guests in Alabama that came out to hear about God's work through NU and making the night a big success!
Posted on 08/30/2016 1:02 PM by Jon-Roy Sloan
Tuesday, 02 August 2016
NationsUniversity is pleased to announce that it is an institutional participant in the SARA initiative. NationsU will be listed on the SARA website (www.nc-sara.org) and we want all our partners and especially students to know about this exciting development.
The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.
A great deal of work has gone into the development and implementation of the SARA initiative and NationsU is proud to a part of this. We know that SARA is increasing administrative efficiency and lowering the costs of obtaining authorization to provide postsecondary distance education in states that join. These benefits are resulting in increased access as more institutions like ours are able to make their academic programs more widely available and accept enrollments from students in many other states.
However, increased access and efficiency will mean little if they are not accompanied by high quality. That is why all SARA institutions annually commit to several steps designed to ensure that courses and programs they offer through the SARA initiative provide high-quality learning opportunities that can help students reach their goals.
NationsUniversity is committed to offering the latest innovations in education and technology.
Posted on 08/02/2016 7:40 AM by Jon-Roy Sloan
Monday, 18 July 2016
In April 2016, NU was visited by five very special students from Kenya. It all started in April 2015 when one Kenyan, Shem Okello, came to America to explore mission opportunities. He first visited groups in North Carolina and at the invitation of Jon-Roy Sloan he came to Tennessee. He visited NationsUniversity and other missions around the Middle Tennessee area and was convinced that what is happening here needed to be happening in Kenya.
Shem Okello addresses the Christian Business Leaders Roundtable
Among the places he visited was the Christian Business Leaders Roundtable (CBL) which meets every Friday in Brentwood. The attendees are men and women who own their own business or are in leadership positions at their place of employment. Their mission is to advance the Kingdom of God by equipping and encouraging Christian business leaders to operate their businesses on Biblical principles. Jon-Roy sits on the board of the CBL and invited Shem to one of the meetings.
Pictured (L to R): Silas Ogala, Dr. Julius Gwada, Jane Owuor, Elisha Olando, Paster Opiyo Ayugi.
This gave them both an idea, what if NU students who are business leaders in their respective communities came to America at their own expense and visited with various business leaders, schools, missions, and of course, NU? Shem and his colleagues started their own CBL in Nairobi upon his return. From this platform he is recruiting business leaders and ministers to enroll with NU to continue their education. Many of them have some education at the college level or hold degrees. From there he put together a trip to visit America four men and two women accepted the invitation, visas were obtained, tickets purchased, and arrangements made for their stay in America.
Sadly, one of the women had to back out and Shem had to back out because of circumstances beyond their control. The five who were able to make it were Dr. Julius Gwada (Medical Doctor and Community Health Practitioner), Rev. Opiyo Ayugi (local pastor and educator), Jane Owuor (principal of a school of 750 students), Elisha Olando (former educator, agri-businessman), and Silas Ogola (businessman).
The Kenyans will continue to work with each other and the business relations they made while visiting NationsU.
Posted on 07/18/2016 7:38 AM by Jon-Roy Sloan
Friday, 15 July 2016
Our students are from around the world. Listen to people from different countries, and walks of life, all united in a common goal. Hear Chaplain Allen 's words; a truck (lorry) driver studying while on the road; the brother being asked to preach over radio; and another spreading the gospel on naval ships... inspirational! Listen to what they say about their experiences at NationsUniversity.
Posted on 07/15/2016 10:37 AM by Jon-Roy Sloan
Thursday, 26 May 2016
NationsUniversity® celebrated twenty years of excellence in education. This was the largest dinner that NationsUniversity has ever hosted as staff, volunteers, faculty, and friends gathered at Harpeth Hills Church in Brentwood, Tennessee to celebrate two enormous achievements, twenty years of Christian education and the DEAC accreditation the university achieved in July 2015.
The guest speaker was Randy Harris of Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas where he is an Instructor of Bible in the College of Biblical Studies. Randy talked about the inspired imagination of those who started NationsU and how they could not see the explosion of Internet technology, yet they were in a position from the very beginning, because God knew what was about to happen.
Other guests included students from many different places and even countries. There were five Kenyan students, at their own expense, that came to visit NU and with American business leaders in Brentwood, TN. They even assisted NU staff with the setup and cleanup for the dinner. NU student, Ed Johnston and his wife, traveled all the way from New York to celebrate with the university.
Events that night included a video mashup of students congratulating NU and what the school has meant to them. Also, there was a video on the origins and history of NU complete with a forty-page book detailing the beginnings and growth of the school. An honorary doctorate of divinity was awarded to Randy Harris by Mac and Marty Lynn to recognize his service to Christ and the Christian community over the years. Another award, the Distinguished Christian Service Award, was given by the university to Clay and Beverly Whidden in appreciation for their tireless efforts to spread the Gospel in Russia and for their work with our incarcerated students in Texas.
This was the largest dinner NationsUniversity ever hosted. We exceeded our fundraising goal for the dinner and want to thank everyone that made this possible. Here is to 20 more years!
Posted on 05/26/2016 2:34 PM by Jon Roy Sloan
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
An honorary doctorate of divinity was awarded to Randy Harris by NationsUniversity a in recognition of exemplary service to fellow human beings around the world and scholarly excellence.
Dr. Harris teaches at Abilene Christian University where he was chosen Honors Professor of the Year in 2001, Honors Mentor of the Year in 2003 and Outstanding Faculty Member of the College of Biblical Studies in 2003. Known as an expert in modern theology and ethics, Harris holds degrees from Harding University, Harding School of Theology, and Syracuse University. He is coauthor of The Second Incarnation, coeditor and contributor to Theology Matters, and has written articles for Wineskins magazine.
Randy quips, "One of my favorite Christian authors, Sheldon Vanauken, a friend of C. S. Lewis, said years ago that when you get a new car you should also get a hammer. Take that hammer and go out and put the first dent in the brand new car yourself. Then you're not afraid to use it anymore. That way you don't have to park at the end of the parking lot to protect from door dings, because you've already put the first dent in it yourself. Vanauken's point was this: things are not to be loved, they're to be used. The corollary to that is this: people are not to be used, they're to be loved."
Posted on 05/17/2016 1:20 PM by Jon Roy Sloan
Tuesday, 15 March 2016
In Kenya from 2001 to 2005, 39 students earned a bachelor of religious studies (B.R.S.), 27 earned a master of religious studies (M.R.S.) and one earned a master of ministry degree. This does not count all those who earned certificates, associates, and diploma level awards. Numerous students have been able to obtain employment due to their attaining a degree.
Since 2005 another 33 B.R.S. awards have been given and 30 M.R.S. awards. There has been one master of divinity awarded and that was in 2009. Students in Kenya have been awarded 130 degrees in higher education. If you were to add in the other awards there are well over 200 certificates, associates, and diplomas combined. We are proud of all the work the Kenyans have done over the years and look forward to serving them and awarding more degrees.
Posted on 03/15/2016 12:15 PM by Jon Roy Sloan
Tuesday, 19 January 2016
24 The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"
What an honest prayer! Our lack of belief still amazes the King. "O faithless generation, how long must I be among you? How long do I have to put up with you?" It is believing that is the greatest hurdle for us, "What do you mean, If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes." And Jesus never asks us to believe blindly, only to trust Him. There is always evidence available to us to rest our faith on Him, so that we are without excuse. Our belief is not merely overcoming doubts about the power of God. We know he is all powerful. Our amazement turns to awe as the evidence begins to assimilate in our minds, and the divine identity of Jesus begins to dawn on us. Our belief is magnified, not by realizing His power; but in the growing knowledge that He loves us.
Tis not the dying for a faith that's so hard, Master Harry -- every man of every nation has done that -- 'tis the living up to it that's difficult. -William M. Thackeray
Prayer, Lord, we want to see and know you better. Help us to see Your hand in our lives and to deepen our faith.
Posted on 01/19/2016 1:00 AM by Casey C. & J.R. Sloan
Monday, 18 January 2016
26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?"
Jesus asks us to believe the most amazing thing. It seems impossible. His promise defies everything we have ever known about mortality. We can scarcely imagine living forever, and never dying: and yet that is precisely what our King holds out for us. Death has always posed our greatest fear, and now it is utterly defeated. Its domination has oppressed us for so long that we tend to think it is undefeatable.
Do we truly believe that we shall live and never die, merely by believing in Jesus? If we truly believe, our lives should reflect that belief.
"All that I am I owe to Jesus Christ, revealed to me in His divine Book." -David Livingstone
Prayer, Lord thank You for Your word. Thank You for surrounding us with Your unfailing love, for our hope is You alone.
Posted on 01/18/2016 1:00 AM by Casey C. & J.R. Sloan
Sunday, 17 January 2016
24 That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins."
Here in one verse lies the chilling reality of rejecting the only begotten Son of God. We are given the choice of whom to serve: a wretched taskmaster who is bent on destroying us, or a loving King who has already shed every drop of His divine blood to ransom us. You would think the choice would be easy enough for everyone. Why isn't it? Why are there still so many lost souls? Have I done everything I can to advance the message my King has entrusted to me? Shall I be content in my own salvation? Shall I remain smugly silent while my co-workers, neighbors, business associates, family members, and so many others, march ever closer to their doom?
"I wish not merely to be called Christian, but also to be Christian." -Ignatius
Prayer, Dear Father, watch over me and guide my steps to do right. Lead me to those who are crying for help and let me introduce you them as their savior.
Posted on 01/17/2016 1:00 AM by Casey C. & J.R. Sloan
Saturday, 16 January 2016
1 John 1:7
7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
God's light is not stagnant, it is moving. Our Heavenly Father is teaching us to walk. As new Christians-infants, babes in Christ, we stand on wobbly legs, take our first step, and fall down. We grasp His hand to stand again, wavering to and fro. We lurch forward one step, and then another, keeping our eyes locked on Him; and He is backing up! He keeps us arms distance away, moving steadily backwards as we strive to reach Him. We are baffled at why we must work so hard, and endure this gap, until finally we are walking-and then running for Jesus!
"Darkness cannot put out the light, it can only make God brighter." -Author Unknown
Prayer, I prayed to you Lord, I know you will answer me and You will free me from all of my fears. For those who look to You for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
Posted on 01/16/2016 1:00 AM by Casey C. & J.R. Sloan
Friday, 15 January 2016
3 "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?
It is much easier to see the fault in someone else, even if his flaw is merely a reflection of your own. Jesus instructs us to look inward when it comes to judging. There are plenty of things wrong with everyone you see, but pointing out their faults only makes them defensive and builds up walls of resentment. What Jesus is talking about in this parable is that self-examination is the first step in righteous judgement. We must judge ourselves in the light of our King who reminds us to "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." This perfection is humanly impossible to achieve, but Jesus leads us into His righteousness one step at a time.
"If a man cannot be a Christian in the place he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere." -Henry Ward Beecher
Prayer, Lord your commandments are right and bring joy to my heart. Your commands give clear insight to living, make whole and clean like you.
Posted on 01/15/2016 1:00 AM by Casey C. & J.R. Sloan
Thursday, 14 January 2016
36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
Nothing could be more to the point than the statement our Lord makes here. He is engaging in a debate that might be ongoing at this very instant. Our pride argues that we are not slaves-we are not in bondage. Then Jesus tells us candidly, Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin." It is there we choke. Our sin is ever before us-even our secret sin that no other human alive knows about, it haunts us because we know that God knows about this sin. It is the blemish that we cannot remove from our soul.
Only the blood of the Lamb can wash us clean. Only Jesus can free us of the desire to sin.
"Not only do we not know God except through Jesus Christ; We do not even know ourselves except through Jesus Christ." -Blaise Paschal
Prayer, Lord I know your eyes are up on those who do right and your ears are open to their cries for help. Guard me from my sin and help me walk in paths of righteousness.
Posted on 01/14/2016 1:00 AM by Casey C. & J.R. Sloan
Wednesday, 13 January 2016
16 Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (NLT)
Our pride tells us that we are slaves to no one. We convince oursleves that we are free agents, able to do exactly as we please; and then we return to the wretched habit we detest. We try to ignore the obvious: that this detestable habit is slowly killing us either physically, spiritually, or both.
When we see someone else exhibit the same tendency it offends us because we are reminded of our own weakness. We are reminded that we are slaves to this wicked taskmaster, and that we have grown accustomed to it's dictating our lives. We are reluctant to admit to ourselves that we desire this thing more than the King who would gladly save us from it.
He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king. -Augustine
Prayer, O Holy Spirit, descend fully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Your cheerful light.â€‹
Posted on 01/13/2016 1:00 AM by Casey C. & J.R. Sloan
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
19 I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. (NLT)
This is what it means to be a slave to sin. It became our master when we willfully gave in to it. We may have experimented with it out of pure curiosity, or some form of childish rebellion, but from that moment we became its slave. We try to qut, but its hold on us is so thight that we continually find ourselves doing exactly what we are trying to stop doing.
We seits destructions in our lives. Yet, we are helpless against this evil taskmaster. There is only one way out of this bondage-to accept a new master. The Good King!
Whatever you do, He will make good of it. But not the good He had prepared for you if you had obeyed him. -C.S. Lewis
Prayer, Lord guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior. My hope is in you all day long.
Posted on 01/12/2016 1:00 AM by Casey C. & J.R. Sloan