CONNECTIONS News – 01/20/2013

Connecting man to man to God
For week of January 20, 2013
Issue 443

The weekly newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
Our mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others. 

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Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world because you hold on to the word of life. This will allow me to say on the day of Christ that I haven’t run for nothing or worked for nothing.
– Philippians 2:14-16 (CEB)

     CONSIDER
All that we have and are is one of the unique and never-to-be repeated ways God has chosen to express Himself in space and time. Each of us, made in His image and likeness, is yet another promise He has made to the universe that He will continue to love it and care for it.”
– Brennan Manning

     A CULTURE THAT CHEATS
by Dr. James Emery White
It seems Lance Armstrong has admitted to doping in an attempt at a comeback in competitive sports. Doing so would not only admit to having cheated, but acknowledge years of egregious and repeated lying.

News of the anticipated admission comes the same week baseball writers refused to name any new players to the Hall of Fame. Famed players Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens were among those eligible, but their career achievements have been tainted by alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

As Sharon Jayson of USA Today noted, dishonesty has been on something of a roll. “Cheating is nothing new,” she writes. “But the stream of famous faces and institutions that got caught up in it this year seems unprecedented.” She calls 2012 the “Year of the Cheater.”

And what is the effect of such widespread and publicized behavior? As people are exposed to more dishonesty around them, says criminology consultant Tom Gabor, it “has a snowball effect. It legitimizes further dishonest behavior.” So the increase in high-profile cheaters is desensitizing all of us to cheating as a whole. If it seems “everyone” is doing it, then it becomes even more pervasive and socially acceptable…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/blogs/dr-james-emery-white/a-culture-that-cheats.html

     SHOULD WE FORGIVE LANCE ARMSTRONG?
by James Martin
I have some very complicated feelings about Lance Armstrong….

As a Jesuit, a priest, a Catholic, and a Christian, I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity for forgiveness. Our faith is founded on a forgiving love. It’s surely the hardest part of being a Christian, but perhaps the most essential. Jesus himself forgave his executioners from the Cross. Later, after the Resurrection, Jesus forgave Peter, after Peter denied him three times before the Crucifixion. And Jesus asked his followers to forgive one another “seventy times seven” times. Finally, one of his most famous parables is the Prodigal Son, who is forgiven by his father even before asking for pardon….

One useful way of understanding all of this may be the Catholic Church’s Rite of Reconciliation, i.e., aka the Sacrament of Confession. Traditionally, three things are required for a good confession.

First, you need to confess your sins fully. The temptation here (and I’m speaking both as a confessor and a confesee) is to tell only what is expedient, convenient or less painful. Imagine Peter saying, “That third time I denied you, Jesus? Well, I didn’t mean that one as much.” Second, you must have true contrition. That means you’re actually sorry for having done what you did. Notice that’s doesn’t mean, “If anyone is offended, I’m sorry,” but rather, “I’m sorry.” Finally, you must demonstrate (and have) a “firm purpose of amendment.” That means a real desire not to sin in that way again. Only then does the person receive absolution from the priest, who speaks on behalf of the church and in God’s name…. Read this in full at
http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/should-we-forgive-lance-armstrong

     NOW IN THE LIGHT OF THEN
Eternity is primary. Heaven must become our first and ultimate point of reference.  We are built for it, redeemed for it, and on our way to it. Success demands that we see and respond to now in the light of then. All that we have, are, and accumulate must be seen as resources by which we can influence and impact the world beyond. Even our tragedies are viewed as events that can bring eternal gain.”
– Joseph Stowell

     TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN GREATER APPRECIATION FOR GOD’S LAWS
by Clare De Graaf
I want you to go out and play a game of basketball and the only rule is that there are no rules.” Those were the only instructions given at a Christian camp a few years ago, to a group of teenagers. No rules – enjoy yourself!

You can just imagine the resulting chaos. Kids stole the ball and ran to nearby basketball courts to shoot unopposed. Others scored points by shooting at their own basket. They couldn’t even agree on how to score. Some wanted to deduct points for every basket. What started out as great fun quickly became both frustrating and futile for everyone. But, they got a great lesson in the value of having structure in their lives – rules they could all depend on to make life work! And, it created a teachable moment.

When I heard this story, I thought it would be a perfect way to introduce our grandchildren and yours to the wisdom of God’s moral laws. You can achieve the same results playing a board or video game without rules. But, beyond the fun exercise of playing a game without rules, the following are some ideas for leveraging the resulting chaos to pass on to the next generation an appreciation for God’s rules…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2013/01/14/teaching-your-children-greater-appreciation-for-gods-laws/

     NEW VIDEO LAUNCHES ‘LARGEST EVER’ IMMIGRATION REFORM EFFORT BY EVANGELICALS
Evangelical leaders have launched fresh efforts to raise support for comprehensive immigration reform in the USA, releasing a new video featuring Max Lucado, Bill Hybels, Richard Land, Leith Anderson, Samuel Rodriguez, and Joel Hunter, among others.

More than 150 evangelical leaders have renewed their calls for comprehensive immigration reform by signing on to the Evangelical Immigration Table (http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/), a relatively new initiative that unites, among others, unlikely partners such as Sojourners and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention…. Read this in full and see the video at
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2013/01/new-video-launches-largest-ever-immigration-reform-effort-by-evangelicals.html

     LEADING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS
by David Delk
Every man has a leadership influence on someone. And every man is affected by the leadership of others. So today, just starting a new year, all of us are feeling the impact of the leadership crisis that we see in America.

Too many dads have abandoned their kids, even if they are still at home. Too many husbands have chosen the safe and easy road over the path of loving sacrifice and service. Too many businessmen, politicians, and celebrities are looking for short-term advantage over long-term impact.

Jeremiah 23 shows that God has woven the design of leadership into the very fabric of society. The passage shows that God judged the people for the sins of their leaders. Representation is built into human reality. We were represented by Adam and Eve when they sinned and so reap the consequence. If we put our faith in Jesus, we are represented by Him in His death and resurrection and so receive the benefits.

In an analogous way, the people we lead are affected by our leadership. God has given us a great opportunity for positive impact–but the key lies in being a leader who knows how to follow. We don’t lead in our own strength, but out of the humility that comes from submitting to Jesus.

Who will you impact today with your leadership? And will they experience the grace and love of Jesus Christ?
http://www.maninthemirror.org

     A BIBLE WITHOUT NUMBERS
by Chris Brundage
Since I am curious about new versions of the Bible, I picked up a copy of The Books of the Bible, an edition without section headings or chapter and verse divisions. Simply the plain text, in the NIV translation, in a single column format. They changed the order in the Old Testament (or First Testament) to conform to the threefold division in the Hebrew Bible of Law, Prophets, and Writings. They also changed the arrangement in the New Testament, beginning with Luke-Acts as one work in two volumes. I have long wanted an edition of the Bible uncluttered with chapter and verse numbers. It is a pleasure to read, and you realize how short a typical passage from the Bible is…. Read this in full at
http://asthedeer.com/2012/11/29/a-bible-without-numbers/

     MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS MORE COMMON AMONG ‘SPIRITUAL BUT NOT RELIGIOUS’
Spiritual but not religious? If so, you may be more likely to suffer from mental health issues.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, people who identify as “spiritual but not religious” are more prone to suffer mental disorders than either those who employ a religious framework or those who are neither religious nor spiritual…. Read this in full at
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2013/01/mental-health-problems-more-common-among-spiritual-but-not-religious.html

     DR. JAMES DOBSON’S FIRST NOVEL DEBUTS
Fatherless (http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/fatherless/) is a new novel by Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner set in the future.

In Fatherless, it’s 2042, and a long-predicted tipping point has arrived: For the first time the elderly outnumber the vigorous young, creating an untenable economic and moral situation. How will a debt-crippled nation pay for the health care needs of a growing number of seniors living longer? As laws change allowing the elderly to end their lives, they become viewed as financial liabilities, as do the disabled. Jaundiced eyes turn toward any couple with more than two children, making the problem worse. Caught in an intensifying battle between competing cultural agendas is reporter Julia Davidson–a journalist seeking to revive a flagging career; influential young Congressman Kevin Tolbert, a Christian facing his own dilemmas; and a supporting cast of engaging characters who find themselves deep in an ominous conspiracy. In the dystopian tradition of 1984, Brave New World, and The Hunger Games, Fatherless projects the headlines of today into the desperate choices of tomorrow…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/9165371267.html

     FAITH IS NOT AN ILLUSION
Faith is not that human illusion and dream that some people think it is. When they hear and talk a lot about faith and yet see that no moral improvement and no good works result from it, they fall into error and say, ‘Faith is not enough. You must do works if you want to be virtuous and get to heaven.’ The result is that, when they hear the Gospel, they stumble and make for themselves with their own powers a concept in their hearts which says, ‘I believe.’ This concept they hold to be true faith. But since it is a human fabrication and thought and not an experience of the heart, it accomplishes nothing, and there follows no improvement.”
– Martin Luther (1483-1546), “Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans”, par. 13

     RESCUING JESUS FROM RELIGION
by Johnnie Moore
I’ve kicked off my new year’s resolution to have a more vibrant faith in style: I released a new book in which I call Jesus “dirty” and declared him a “capitalist,” all in the first two weeks of the year. I genuinely believe in both, and people are in a tizzy over it.

Every kind of Christian you can imagine has accused me of heresy, atheists galore have charged me with a kind of delusion that they must know suspiciously well, and I’ve even received multiple, curious emails from people actually claiming to be Jesus. Those are my favorites.

These Jesuses seem much more opinionated than the original one.

Among evangelicals, it’s not all that controversial to believe that Jesus, the Son of God, took on the sin of the world (became dirty) and rose again so that the world could get cleaned up. We call that “salvation” in our religious speak…. Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/why-im-calling-jesus-names/2013/01/16/7995dd3a-6044-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_blog.html

     THE UGLY BEAUTY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
by Kurt Willems
Much in the world is ugly.

Ugliness manifests itself in ways that we hope never to even imagine. Each day it confronts us when we least expect it. Depending on the day, the circumstances, or our disposition in the moment of confrontation, our responses may differ. Ugliness in a movie might bring us to tears on one occasion, but in another moment we may battle an apathetic exterior. When we find ourselves in the midst of unexpected human or animal suffering, we recollect how horrible the world can be. No matter our response, the truth is that the world is much uglier than we often realize. Forces of evil in the invisible sphere of reality partner with fallen humanity to create a wrecking ball of destruction.

Much in the world is beautiful.

Beauty, although taken for granted on a regular basis, is all around us. The leaves that slowly teeter-totter as they float toward earth on a breezy autumn day remind us that our fast-paced lives often take our gaze off of the subtle wonders of this world. The warm waters of the Costa Rican seashore invite rest or recreation depending on our longings in the moment of saturation. Even the creations of humankind can be beautiful. The wonder of flying thousands of feet above a major city as the lights dance below never ceases to evoke awe. God’s world, when stewarded well, resembles a bride dressed up for her wedding, pure beauty worthy of adoration…. Read this in full at
http://www.mennoworld.org/blog/2013/1/14/ugly-beauty-kingdom-god/

     MORE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE MOVING AWAY FROM RELIGION, BUT WHY?
One-fifth of Americans are religiously unaffiliated — higher than at any time in recent U.S. history — and those younger than 30 especially seem to be drifting from organized religion. A third of young Americans say they don’t belong to any religion.

NPR’s David Greene wanted to understand why, so he gathered a roundtable of young people at a synagogue in Washington, DC. The 6th & I Historic Synagogue seemed like the right venue: It’s both a holy and secular place that has everything from religious services to rock concerts. Greene speaks with six people — three young women and three young men — all struggling with the role of faith and religion in their lives…. Read this in full at
http://www.npr.org/2013/01/15/169342349/more-young-people-are-moving-away-from-religion-but-why

     VERSE TO PONDER
I say be guided by the Spirit and you won’t carry out your selfish desires.
– Galatians 5:16 (CEB)

     CONSIDER
God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to Him.”
– A. W. Tozer

     COMING TO LOVE GOD
by William Lane Craig
There’s a difference between merely believing *that* God exists and believing *in* God. One could give a sort of disinterested, even apathetic, acknowledgment of the fact that God exists without really loving and trusting God.

Jesus taught that he who has been forgiven much loves much, whereas he who has been forgiven little loves little (Luke 7:40-50). I suspect that therein lies the key to your question. Worship of God is kindled by a deep gratitude to God for His forgiveness of one’s wrongdoing. People who do not have a deep sense of their own sinfulness will probably not feel much of a need to come to God. But to know that, unworthy as you are, you have been forgiven of even your worst sins and cleansed of your guilt forever issues spontaneously in thanksgiving and praise to God for such unmerited favor.

I was forcefully struck when, at the end of our debate on the existence of God, Louise Anthony confessed that one of the drawbacks of the atheism she had come to embrace is that under atheism there is no redemption. Think of that! One’s sin and guilt are truly indelible. Nothing can undo what has been done and restore your innocence. But the Christian message is a message of redemption. That’s why the hymnist exclaims, “Redeemed! How I love to proclaim it!” ….Read this in full at
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/coming-to-love-god

     I KEEP ON WALKING
by Heather Shaw
We all walk along pathways, sometimes smooth, sometimes rocky – inevitably smooth AND rocky – and, taken together, the pathways are called Life. I have been on this path for as long as I can remember – sometimes walking, sometimes running, but always moving forward.??

Suddenly, without warning, Darkness descended and violently shoved me off my path and onto another path. This new path was not at all like the last path or any I had been on before. I’d done rocky paths before, but this one was covered by sharp, jagged boulders that I had to climb over or around. It was messy – muddy and covered by debris. As I regained my balance and started to move forward again, I realized that I had been severely injured when I had been shoved. I looked down at my legs and saw that both were mangled. Stopping was not an option. I had to keep moving forward on this messy, new path…. Read this in full at
http://www.mondayministry.com/blog/2013/01/13/i-keep-on-walking/

     CANCER OF THE ATTITUDE
by Michael Cheshire
As a free-spirited leader, I relished my laid-back style. I did things when I felt like it. I couldn’t imagine the horror of a scheduled life! But as the meeting went on, it was clear that I needed to grow. I saw that I had become comfortable with putting off tasks. In fact, I procrastinated long enough that some opportunities just went away. I was being too lazy to grow.

Laziness is a funny little creature. I used to think it was why people don’t get jobs or why houses stay dirty, but I have found it to be a cleverer foe than I ever realized. True laziness just says, “Things are fine.” Laziness rewards you for what you have done and encourages you to stay in that moment. Laziness reasons that tomorrow will be a more fruitful day. It convinces us to rest before we even get tired.

In a leader, laziness often looks like “movement,” while preventing meaningful action. Like a ship anchored in a storm, the ship rocks and rolls with the waves but it never goes anywhere.

So what kills the cancer of laziness in a leader? Education and new habits…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2013/january-online-only/cancer-of-attitude-part-two.html

     WHY WE NEED A NEW C. S. LEWIS
by Steven Harrell
C. S. Lewis was a deft writer, a gifted storyteller, and blessed with a keen mind. But I’m annoyed with the public perception and exultation that has long outlasted him.

He was a fantastic literature critic, who gracefully guided generations of graduate students to a better understanding of Paradise Lost and a rich collection of other medieval works.

Then, of course, there’s his fiction. The Chronicles of Narnia left its indelible mark on the Christian imagination forever. Few books have so powerfully captured the Christian imagination as that series has, with its impressive storytelling, lovable characters and rich spiritual themes.

But Lewis could just as easily apply his talents to theological musings as much as children’s literature. Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, Surprised by Joy, and more have all worked their way into the hall of Christian favorites. These are all good books and admirable reading, if you’re so inclined. So are works by Augustine, Dante, G. K. Chesterton and Herman Melville. These men all wrote good, true things…. Read this in full at
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/god-our-generation/why-we-need-new-cs-lewis

     TOO MUCH C. S. LEWIS? NOT HARDLY
by Joel J. Miller
A writer for Relevant magazine is peeved that people like C. S. Lewis. Seriously. “I’m annoyed,” he said, “with the public perception and exultation that has long outlasted him.”

While granting that Lewis deserves credit for his academic, literary, and theological work, the writer pointed out that the Oxford don “was born in 1898…a decade after the setting of Back to the Future III. Annie Oakley was still the most popular woman in America. In 1898, the ink was hardly dry on the patent for the radio and the Wright Brothers had never been to Kitty Hawk.”

But now “[i]t is 2013.” And, well, that just changes everything, right?

The argument hangs on the assumption that Lewis is a product of his times and has trouble speaking to our postmodern world. But the fact that Lewis is a product of his time is exactly why we should still read him. As Lewis himself argued, every age has its own unique outlook. While dead authors are just as likely to go wrong as we are, he said, they’re not likely to go wrong in the same direction, which means their perspectives can serve as a check on, and a corrective to, our own…. Read this in full at
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/joeljmiller/2013/01/enough-c-s-lewis-already-not-yet/

     CELEBRATING BAPTISM: THE JORDAN RIVER IN THE TIME OF JESUS
by Beata M. Andonia
The Jordan River flows through the Jordan Rift Valley into the Sea of the Galilee and then continues down into the Dead Sea with no outlet. It is a place of many important biblical events. However, for most of Christians the first association with the river would be the scene of Jesus Christ being baptized by John the Baptist.

According to the Christian faith, the Jordan River is considered the third most holy site in the Holy Land, just after Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem and Golgotha in Jerusalem, because it is the site of the most important event of Jesus’ life – His baptism and beginning of his ministry…. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2013/s13010058.htm

     ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIND SUGGESTS ANCIENT ISRAEL’S CAPITAL WAS BURNED
An archaeological dig has uncovered what appears to be evidence that Shiloh, the ancient capital of Israel that was once the site where the Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant could be found, was destroyed, at least in part, by fire.

Excavators working in Tel Shiloh, the site of the ancient city, have uncovered the remains of a broken clay pitcher which was found lying in a layer of reddish ash, Tazpit News Agency reports. The finding leads them to believe the city was burned after 369 years of being the nation’s religious center. The pitcher is suspected to be from around 1050 BC – the time the events described in the biblical book of 1 Samuel would have likely occurred…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/archaeological-find-suggests-ancient-israels-capital-was-burned-88390/

     HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH: IS THERE A BETTER WAY?
by Christy McFerren
Homosexuality and the Church’s response: It seems like an issue that is ever resurfacing in our culture.

Each time it rises up, the pros and the cons raise their voices and talk right past each other in exalted decibels, delivering arrows that speed beyond ears and penetrate hearts with pain, deepening the wounds certain to be found on both sides of the issue.

The cultural standoffs compound upon each other as each side remembers the others’ words in the last duel, and each time the argument constricts more tightly until at last, it’s no longer a position we take but a personal issue we face as we find our loved ones standing in its crosshairs…. Read this in full at
http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/164700-homosexuality-and-the-church-is-there-a-better-way.html

     THE DEATH OF THE MALL AND THE FUTURE OF CHURCH BUILDINGS
by Thom S. Rainer
The Boomer generation has been the generation of bigness and sprawl. Their parents, in the aftermath of World War II, moved numbers of them to the new and massive suburbia. Large malls would soon follow. Most large megachurch buildings were constructed primarily for the favor of the Boomers.

But the children of the Boomers, Generation X and, even more, the Millennials, have been pushing for more intimacy and smallness. They triggered the unprecedented growth of Starbucks. They have been the key movers in social media, which has fostered a new online intimacy.

Among the Christian Millennials there is a desire for greater intimacy in church. They are in many ways triggering a new small group revolution. And though they may not have an explicit aversion to large church facilities, neither are they attracted to them…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-death-of-the-mall-and-the-future-of-church-buildings-88150/

     BCWI ANNOUNCES INCREASED STAFF ENGAGEMENT FOR 2013 BEST CHRISTIAN WORKPLACES
Following their calling and passion, workers in Christian organizations are seeing their engagement levels improve to 51% of staff versus 47% the previous year. “These increases are substantial” according to Al Lopus, President of the Best Christian Workplaces Institute. “It’s an indication that leaders in Christian organizations are faithfully recognizing the importance of organizational culture to ministry effectiveness.”

These engaged employees feel energized, passionate, dedicated and are highly involved with their work and the ministry they serve. BCWI describes employee engagement as the degree to which employees are emotionally and spiritually connected and committed to their organization and their role, exerting discretionary effort for the betterment of the organization and those they serve…. Read this in full at
http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/01/16/bcwi-announces-increased-staff-engagement-for-2013-best-christian-workplaces/

     OBAMA PRAISES NATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY; CONSERVATIVES POINT OUT ‘IRONY’
President Barack Obama marked National Religious Freedom Day by releasing a statement celebrating the event, although some conservative groups have argued that his administration’s policies go against that very freedom.

“Foremost among the rights Americans hold sacred is the freedom to worship as we choose,” Obama began in his statement. “Because of the protections guaranteed by our Constitution, each of us has the right to practice our faith openly and as we choose. As a free country, our story has been shaped by every language and enriched by every culture.”

National Religious Freedom Day is celebrated annually on Jan. 16, commemorating the Virginia General Assembly’s adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on Jan. 16, 1786. The document was essential for fostering the religious freedom clause in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/obama-praises-national-religious-freedom-day-conservatives-point-out-irony-88406/

     HUMANISTS CREATE NEW ‘JEFFERSON BIBLE;’ DELIVER COPIES TO OBAMA, CONGRESS
A national humanist organization has created a new version of the “Jefferson Bible,” which attempts to distinguish the good passages from the bad in several religious texts, and has sent copies of the book to President Barack Obama and current members of Congress.

When Thomas Jefferson created The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth – more commonly known as the “Jefferson Bible” – in 1820, he did so by extracting the moral teachings and non-miraculous activities of Jesus Christ from the four New Testament Gospels. Following in Jefferson’s footsteps, the American Humanist Association (AHA) has created A Jefferson Bible for the Twenty-First Century by deciding which religious passages are or are not worthy of one’s attention…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/humanists-create-new-jefferson-bible-deliver-copies-to-obama-congress-88249/

     LARGEST PARIS PROTEST SINCE 1984 IS AGAINST (NOT FOR) SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
French President François Hollande says his plan to expand same-sex rights by June will continue—in spite of the massive protest that converged upon the Eiffel Tower Jan. 13.

Hundreds of thousands gathered to decry Hollande’s plan to legalize same-sex marriage and adoptions by same-sex couples, one of the promises Hollande made while campaigning for election last year. Although France is famously secular and already allows same-sex civil unions, protesters argued that the president’s proposal “would hurt children.” …. Read this in full at
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2013/01/largest-paris-protest-since-1984-is-against-not-for-same-sex-marriage.html

Also see this news release from the World Congress of Families.
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1391271269.html

     EUROPEAN COURT SAYS UK EQUALITY LAWS TRUMP PERSONAL RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
The European Court of Human Rights Jan. 15 ruled that equality laws trump personal religious beliefs, rejecting three of four appeals filed by British Christians who were fired or disciplined for expressing religious beliefs in the workplace…. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/2013/01/15/european-court-says-u-k-equality-laws-trump-personal-religious-beliefs/

     HINDUS ENTER RIVER GANGES IN MAHA KUMBH MELA, WORLDS LARGEST RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL
Once every 12 years, tens of millions of pilgrims stream to the small northern city of Allahabad from across India for the Maha Kumbh Mela, or Grand Pitcher Festival, at the point where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet with a third, mythical river.

Officials believe that over the next two months as many as 100 million people will pass through the temporary city that covers an area larger than Athens on a wide sandy river bank. That would make it larger even than previous festivals.

Upwards of a million elated Hindu holy men and pilgrims took a bracing plunge in India’s sacred Ganges river Jan. 14 to wash away lifetimes of sins…. Read this in full and see photos at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/14/hindus-enter-river-ganges_n_2470862.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

     BOOK APPLIES PRAYER TO WORLD PROBLEMS
With the deadline moving closer for the international community to achieve significant goals to relieve human suffering, the Rev. Liberato Bautista decided he had to take action.

When I was looking at the Millennium Development Goals, I said, ‘these goals are not going to be (implemented). We have to start praying for the implementation because they are too important to be neglected,’” he recalled.

The United Nations developed the Millennium Development Goals to focus the world’s attention on reducing poverty, protecting the vulnerable, decreasing the numbers of mothers and babies who die in childbirth, and achieving other steps by 2015.

Bautista, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society’s executive representative to the United Nations, put together a prayer guide with contributions from writers around the world. The result is “Meditations and Devotions on the Millennium Development Goals,” which was launched in February 2012. It has taken on new significance as another year passes and the 2015 deadline nears…. Read this in full at
http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=5259669&ct=12735177

     NOTE ON A NAPKIN, ‘THIS MEAL IS ON US’
At the start of the evening dinner rush on January 10, a group of 13 is seated at an Applebee’s in Mason City, Iowa. Their waitress is new. She is nervous. She has never served a big group before but after a little reassurance she is ready.

The 13 men and women, ages 25-60, are dressed in flight suits from University of Iowa AirCare. They have just attended a memorial service for three colleagues killed in a medical helicopter crash on January 2 and have stopped for dinner before the long drive home. Dr. Azeem Ahmed, medical director of the University of Iowa AirCare program, said the deaths had hit the Northern Iowa emergency responder community hard…. Read this in full at
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/14/us/iowa-napkin-note/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

     CONSIDER
God is pleased with no music below so much as with the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows and supported orphans; of rejoicing, comforted, and thankful persons.”
– Jeremy Taylor

     VERSE TO PONDER
If anyone says, I love God, and hates a brother or sister, he is a liar, because the person who doesn’t love a brother or sister who can be seen can’t love God, who can’t be seen. This commandment we have from him: Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also.
– 1 John 4:20-21 (CEB)

     THIS WEEK’S HYMN: BREAK, NEWBORN YEAR
Words: Thomas H. Gill, 1855
Music: Arthur Cottman, 1872

Break, newborn year, on glad eyes break,
Melodious voices move;
On, rolling time; thou canst not make
The Father cease to love.

The parted year had wingèd feet;
The Savior still doth stay;
The new year comes; but Spirit sweet,
Thou goest not away.

Our hearts in tears may oft run o’er;
But Lord, Thy smile still beams;
Our sins are swelling evermore,
But pardoning grace still streams.

Lord, from this year more service win,
More glory, more delight:
O make its hours less sad with sin,
Its days with Thee more bright.

Then we may bless its precious things
If earthly cheer should come,
Or gladsome mount on angel wings
If Thou wouldst take us home.

O golden then the hours must be;
The year must needs be sweet;
Yes, Lord, with happy melody
Thine opening grace we greet.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/b/r/e/breaknby.htm

     FRIDAY NIGHT ARCHIVE REPLAY
Listen to Friday night’s Path Of Life fellowship gathering online broadcast on Blogtalk radio here:
THE “BUSINESS” OF CHURCH
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepath/2013/01/19/the-business-of-church

     ON PRAYER
Get yourself into the presence of the loving Father. Just place yourself before Him, and look up into His face; think of His love, His wonderful, tender, pitying love.”
– Andrew Murray

     PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY 
http://christiansincrisis.net/

     DAILY BLESSING PACT
Use the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.

I am agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake you!

PERSONAL
Marital harmony
Family unity
Children saved
Faithful pastor
Spirit-filled church
Real friendships
Relatives redeemed
Educational benefits
Recreational time
Fulfilling career
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will

FINANCIAL
Better Jobs
Raises or bonuses
Benefits
Sales & commissions
Business Growth
Settlements
Estates & inheritances
Investment increase
Rebates & returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Money to be found
Bills decrease while blessings increase

“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God” (Deut. 28:2).

[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know if you'd like us to add you to our prayer chain to pray for your safety and spiritual effectiveness. I'll add your name to the list for the time you'll be away.]

     CLASSIFIEDS
Are you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and I’ll put it in this newsletter.

The Complete Gift Solution
http://www.FranksWorldOfGifts.com

Books, Music & More!
http://www.ChristianConnectionBooks.com

Get your domain name here!
http://www.GoGlobalDomains.com

     SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES 
Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why. 

Earth Random nature photography
http://www.earthrandom.com/top-20-earth-pictures-found-on-stumble-upon/

Hammered Dulcimer song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bRwaVanPTDE

Infograhpic: 18 Amazing Facts about the Human Body
http://www.advancedphysicalmedicine.org/images/human-body.jpg

All links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply endorsement by this ministry. 

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your e-mail program, just copy the entire URL (two lines or more) and paste it into a temporary email message. Then delete the return in the middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web browser and hit enter.) 

Years ago some research found that if all the people who slept in church were laid end to end…they would be a lot more comfortable.
Frank Coleman, Editor
frank@frankcoleman.com

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box! 

CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box! 

The CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ. 
Contact Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, frank@frankcoleman.com if you’d like to participate in a men’s discipleship program. 
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.org/  

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http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/connections/archives_all.html

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Comments

  • Immigration Advisers Honslow  On February 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    It’s impressive that you are getting ideas from this paragraph as well as from our discussion made at this time.

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