CONNECTIONS News – 02/10/2013

Connecting man to man to God
For week of February 10, 2013
Issue 446

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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Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge.”
– 1 Peter 2:11-12

     CONSIDER
We face death, but thanks to Jesus, we only face its shadow.”
– Max Lucado

     THE 10-SECOND RULE
by Clare De Graaf
Most of us would like to think of ourselves as followers of Jesus, but what does that really mean, practically?

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23. Simply put, it’s trusting Jesus enough to say “no” to what we want, and “yes” to what he wants. So, then why is it we don’t obey him more often than we do?

Years ago I noticed that during the course of my day I’d have these impressions to do something I was reasonably certain Jesus wanted me to do. It could be an impression to either do something good for someone or a warning about a sin I was about to commit. It might be to stop for a car broken down on the highway, speak to a co-worker about Jesus, or simply turn off my computer before I ended up at a site where no Christian should go.

Almost simultaneously I would sense another voice whispering to me. “You don’t have time to do that – helping that person could get messy – you can’t afford to help them right now – it’s okay, one more time won’t kill you – send it, you’ve been wronged!” …. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/10-second-rule/

See the video trailer at
http://vimeo.com/58185617

     TWO-THIRDS OF AMERICANS SAY PRO ATHLETES HAVE MORE INFLUENCE ON SOCIETY THAN FAITH LEADERS
A new study from Barna shows most Americans believe sports figures have a greater influence than do professional clergy or other faith leaders.

There is plenty of research to show the declining sway of clergy, but who are Americans looking to instead? By more than a three-to-one margin, Americans believe professional sports players have more influence on society than do faith leaders. Overall, about two-thirds of Americans (64%) say they think pro athletes have more influence in American society today than do professional faith leaders (19%). Others say both (8%) have equal influence or are not sure (10%).

Sports figures are deemed most influential by those making $60,000-plus, college graduates, whites and parents. Those most likely to select faith leaders were weekly church attenders and those with incomes under $40,000…. Read this in full at
http://www.barna.org/culture-articles/603-two-thirds-of-americans-say-pro-athletes-have-more-influence-on-society-than-faith-leaders

     CHRISTIAN ATHLETES ARE NOT ROLE MODELS
by Mark Galli
Our desire to lift up Christian athletes as models of athleticism, morality, and religion goes way back. The ancient Olympics were not merely athletic events but also religious festivals. The games were dedicated to the Greek God Zeus, and over time, the site of the games, Olympia, became worship central for god of thunder. It included one of the largest Doric temples in Greece, and a 42-foot statue, made of gold and ivory, which sat on the throne of the temple. It was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

As the ancient historian Strabo put it, the Olympian games were considered “the greatest games in the world.” Indeed, they were the Super Bowls of the ancient world. While there were no commercials specially created for the event, artists would cast wondrous works of art to celebrate the games and the athleticism displayed there. The most well-known perhaps is Myron’s Diskobolos, or Discus Thrower — a thrower frozen just before he unwinds and hurls the discus. His physique is a picture of athletic beauty, a combination of power and grace that every athlete strives for…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-web-only/christian-athletes-are-not-role-models.html?paging=off

     QUARTERBACK’S NEXT PLAY: GOING LONG WITH THE BIBLE
Ask Dylan Thompson to name his career highlights, and fans might expect to hear about one of his big moments as South Carolina’s backup quarterback.

But while Thompson said he’s proud of his team’s accomplishments as well as his own, nothing really compares to what happened to him off the field his freshman year.

Being saved and dedicating my life to Christ is actually the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me,” Thompson said.

His desire to spread the gospel and share his faith propelled Thompson and his mentor, Jack Easterby, to come up with The Bible Out Loud project (http://thebibleoutloud.com/), an online initiative aimed at getting Christians to memorize and recite Scripture.

The rules for The Bible Out Loud project are simple: Participants memorize one to five verses from the New International Version of the Bible and record themselves reciting it. Then they upload their video to YouTube and copy and paste the link to the project’s website…. Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/01/quarterbacks-next-play-going-long-with-the-bible/

     FORMER SAINT AND SUPER BOWL GREAT DISCUSSES NEW BOOK, FATHER’S STRUGGLES, AND GOD
It was only three years ago that Chris Reis was playing in the Super Bowl for the New Orleans Saints. He burst into the national spotlight with one unusual, but game-changing play: an onside kick recovery that surprised the opposition and many say paved the path for the Saints’ 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

It was an unlikely position for a kid who grew up in a broken family, with a father who was in and out of his life and addicted to sex and alcohol. Reis broke through the obstacles to succeed, he says, in part by finding God in high school. He went on to play for Georgia Tech where he served as president of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

His father, Mike Reis, finally broke the cycle of addiction after watching his son make that critical Super Bowl play – and realizing how much he’d overcome to get there. The pair is now closer than ever and recently co-wrote a book about their journey, “Recovery of a Lifetime.” They also share their stories, touring around the country as inspirational speakers…. Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/01/former-saint-and-super-bowl-great-discusses-new-book-the-big-game-fathers-struggles-and-god/

     ‘SO GOD MADE A FARMER’ SUPER BOWL AD INSPIRES
The late Paul Harvey’s tribute “So God Made a Farmer” was given new life during Super Bowl XLVII Feb. 3, propelling a simple and somber Dodge Ram ad to the top of the popularity chart, past scantily-clad women and the usual commercial hype.

The iconic radio broadcaster delivered his ode in 1978 at a Future Farmers of America convention, adding to the Genesis creation account by stating, “And on the eighth day, God looked down on His planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God made a farmer.”
He went on to list the daily toils of the American farmer: “God said, ‘I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.’ So God made a farmer.”

The two-minute Dodge Ram ad, which aired in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, ranked third in the USA Today ad meter, just behind Anheuser-Busch and Tide…. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=39641

     7 LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM THE GARBAGE
by Thom Rainer
It may be strange to hear, but I absolutely love my residential garbage service. When I moved to Nashville more than seven years ago, I asked my neighbors to recommend a service. Their recommendations were so effusive that you might have thought they were talking about a beloved physician.

Nope. They were excited about their garbage service. And now, seven years later, I fully understand. This family-owned company is called Music City Disposal. It’s located in Franklin, Tenn., a southern suburb of Nashville.

The first time I called Music City Disposal to begin my service, the wife of the owner greeted me. Her pleasant disposition was but a foretaste to the great service I would receive over the next seven years.

Indeed, the workers in this small company have taught me several lessons on leadership. I’ll share a few…. Read this in full at
http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/165012-thom-rainer-toss-these-leadership-lessons-from-the-garbage-service.html

     Preparing for Lent
By Molly T. Marshall
Since the earliest times of the Church, there is evidence of some kind of Lenten preparation in the 40 days leading up to Easter (not counting the Sundays.) After the legalization of Christianity in CE 313, Lent developed patterns that continue, at least in the West.

Repentance and preparation for baptism are still centerpieces of the Lenten observance for the Roman Catholic Church. In more recent years, new emphasis on the renewal of faith through joyful celebration of the mysteries of salvation is shaping this spiritual pilgrimage, and many Baptists are learning the significance of paying attention to Lent…. Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/opinion/columnists/thinking-theologically/item/8194-preparing-for-lent

     LENT 2013
Lent begins Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13
Lent ends Saturday, March 30

     VERSE TO PONDER
Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.”
– Romans 12:13

     CONSIDER
Have courage for the great sorrows of life and have patience for the small ones. Go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
– Victor Hugo

     DEALING WITH THE SOURCE OF SIN IS A STAGGERING COMMITMENT
Let’s think about your heart, and we’ll do it by imagining a scenario. You’re out for a hike on a beautiful spring day. You’re delighted to hear running water, and sure enough, you come to a creek. But there’s something wrong with this picture. You notice that someone has dumped trash into the stream—an ugly sight. There is refuse floating on the water. Judging by some of the empty soda cans, the trash has been there awhile. And there is an ugly film on top of the water.

You can’t just leave the scene as you found it, because it would bother your conscience. So you stoop down and begin gathering the trash.

It actually takes several hours before you can begin to see a difference; it’s amazing how much junk is there. You sit back, rest for a moment, and realize you’ll have to keep returning each day until the site is truly clean. Well, that’s okay; it’s a project you’ll be proud of.

Except that when you come back the next day, it’s as if your work has been undone.

In fact there’s more trash than before. Somehow the garbage bred overnight. You think about the unlikelihood of someone coming to this very spot to dump their garbage in the few hours while you were away, and you realize that something smells fishy—so to speak. So you begin to follow the creek upstream.

Sure enough, you come to a garbage dump that has been there for years. It’s emptying into the passing creek. Your cleaning job only opened up a gap for more stuff to settle. You could go and clean every day, but it would just be like pushing a boulder up the hill and watching it roll back down again.

If you want your creek to be clean, that means going directly to the source and dealing with what’s there.

Think of your heart, as the Hebrews did, as the source from which your life flows—thoughts, emotions, actions.

How much of your life do you spend dealing with the visible garbage rather than what produces it? We all spend great amounts of time, money, energy, and frustration doing trash removal when something upstream is still dumping into the flow. Even the church focuses downstream too much. It’s so much easier to pick up a little bit of trash. Dealing with what’s upstream is a staggering commitment. But the [idols that vie for our affection] know the heart is the battlefield. It’s where the war is won.” Kyle Idleman in Gods at War
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/go-to-source-of-sin.html

     HOW EARLY PROTESTANTS UNDERSTOOD SUFFERING
Book review by Lauren F. Winner
In his 2004 study The Reformation of the Keys, historian Ronald Rittgers investigated why Lutherans retained the practice of private confession, and examined how they modified medieval penitential practice. In his new book—the deeply researched, wonderfully readable, and often profound The Reformation of Suffering—Rittgers turns to consolation, which, he says, saturates the literature of the Reformation. How did Reformation-era Lutheran theologians, pastors, and laypeople think about trial and tribulation? What significance did they find in suffering? Where and how did they find consolation?

Central to Rittgers’ investigation is the claim that there indeed was a reformation of suffering. Rittgers draws nuanced distinctions among and between different theologians, distinctions that a brief book review perforce will oversimplify. Suffice to say that by the winter of 1518-19, Luther had come to believe that God did not expect or require people to contribute to their own salvation. That theological position made possible certain meanings and practices of suffering, and rendered others impossible. Specifically, Protestants rejected the view that suffering could be salvific. But suffering was far from meaningless. It could purify your heart. It could test and foster patience. It could make possible or even provoke a person’s growth in Christlikeness…. Read this in full at
http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2013/janfeb/in-praise-of-lament.html?paging=off

     CHRISTIAN PROFESSOR BURSTS THE MYTH OF ‘DYING CHRISTIANITY’
Contrary to critics in the mainstream suggesting Christianity’s death might be near due to the rise of the “nones” or “religiously unaffiliated” in the United States, the faith is at its most important and promising moment in history, argues a young pastor and professor of religion.

The Pew Research Center polling last October showed that one-fifth of the people in the U.S. – and a third of adults under 30 – do not identify with any religion, which led many in the secular press to project Christianity as a dying religion. But the view that Christianity is “on a respirator” overlooks the evidence of the growing influence of the faith, says Johnnie Moore, a vice president, professor of religion, and campus pastor at the nearly 100,000-student Liberty University in Virginia, in an article for Fox News.

While some media critics of Christianity “have lost their minds touting” the so-called rise of the “nones” in the US, they fail to note that nearly 70% of them still admit to believing in God. In fact, one-in-five of America’s “least religious” say they pray every day, Moore points out, suggesting that many devoted Christians, tired of cultural and denominational labels, have opted to be classified as “unaffiliated” rather than be stereotyped…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-professor-bursts-the-myth-of-dying-christianity-89386/

     HOW TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR VERY BEST
We feel like we can handle our business on our own. That must be how Simon Peter felt, too, when it came to his profession as a full-time fisherman. The Bible recalls a time when he and some of his companions had been out all night fishing, catching nothing. Then Jesus showed up along the shoreline, telling them to try casting their nets on the other side of the boat.

These men were seasoned professionals. They knew these waters. Did Jesus really think they hadn’t already been fishing on both sides of the boat? But when they did what he said, “they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break” (Luke 5:6).

This story reveals something we all need to remember. No matter how good we are at what we do, or how well we think we can handle life on our own, if God’s not in it, we are going to wind up with a big zero. But if we put God first, we’ve got a chance to fill our nets to the breaking point.

The best way — the only way, really — to be your very best is to put everything you do into God’s care and keeping. Actually, none of us can accomplish much for His Kingdom by ourselves. But with Him working through us — with our focus on trusting Him, knowing He is ultimately in control — He will show us what real success looks like, right here in our own lives.”
– The Game Plan for Life Bible (NIV) with notes by Coach Joe Gibbs

     BE GENEROUS
We have no right to our possessions; they have been entrusted to us for the good of all. Let us then invest with the Lord what he has given us, for we have nothing that does not come from [God]: we are dependent upon [God] for our very existence. And we ourselves particularly, who have a special and a greater debt, since God not only created us but purchased us as well; what can we regard as our own when we do not possess even ourselves?”
– Paulinus Of Nola

     5 KEYS TO KICKSTART YOUR DEVOTIONAL LIFE
by Carey Nieuwhof
If you’re like me, you’re already thinking about how to make the new year better than the current year. I also think about how I want to recalibrate my own relationship with God. Like any relationship, it can fall into a rut. If you’re not careful, what was once meaningful can easily become mechanical.

Or maybe you’re new to a relationship with God, and you’re looking for a way to begin a relationship with him. I realize my tips are mostly around reading the Bible, but here’s what I find: The more I engage the Scriptures, the more I engage God.

Here are 5 ways to kickstart your devotional life: …. Read this in full at
http://www.churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/165006-carey-nieuwhof-recalibrate-relationship-with-god.html

     10 TIPS FOR HOLIER HOLY COMMUNION
by William H. Willimon
The Christian faith is proved in its performance. This faith is not so much a set of beliefs or propositions, but a way of life, something we do, a way we walk, a set of embodied practices. A Christian is someone who not only talks like Jesus but also walks like Jesus.

And eats like Jesus — that especially.

How typical of Jesus to culminate his earthly ministry with a meal alongside friends. There, he did not say “believe this,” but “do this,” promising that, as often as we eat or drink this meal in the future, he’ll be with us. The way to Eucharistic renewal is for more robust, more frequent, more lively celebration of the sacrament of Holy Communion…. Read this in full at
http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/article/entry/207/ten-tips-for-holier-holy-communion#axzz2K9psgAdI

     MIRACLES ARE NOT THE ANSWER
Some Christians long for a world well-stocked with miracles and spectacular signs of God’s presence. I hear wistful sermons on the parting of the Red Sea and the ten plagues and the daily manna in the wilderness, as if the speakers yearn for God to unleash his power like that today. But the follow-the-dots journey of the Israelites should give us pause. Would a burst of miracles nourish faith? Not the kind of faith God seems interested in, evidently. The Israelites give ample proof that signs may only addict us to signs, not to God.”
– Philip Yancey (b. 1949), Disappointment with God: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud, p. 36

     CHAPLAINS RESCUE JUMPERS FROM SUICIDE
For 8 years, Ross Hardy has walked the white chalk cliffs of Beachy Head, England, among the thousands who travel there from around the world. Many come to take pictures. Some come to die. And by God’s grace and a keen eye, Hardy usually can tell the difference.

“We are trained in certain signs, to infer things from people’s behavior,” Hardy said. “But many times it is nothing but God’s prompting that makes us know who to go talk to in a crowd of people standing near the edge.”

The “us” is the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, a ministry begun by Hardy, a former Baptist pastor. The ministry now encompasses 14 trained chaplains who patrol the cliffs and are on call 24/7 for people in need of help…. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=39611

     DEFINING OUR FAITH BY WHO WE ARE, NOT BY WHO WE AREN’T
by Brandon Ambrosino
It’s no secret that the young demographic in churches today is wearing thin. Today’s twenty- and thirtysomethings who have grown up in the Church have grown disillusioned and discontented, and churches trying to intentionally reach them should be applauded. Yet I wonder if there are drawbacks in this approach.

Our generation is emerging into adulthood—we’re claiming our independence and struggling to find our place in the world of jobs, relationships, finances and faith. And during this formative time, I wonder if it is counterproductive to forge a way of our own that is shaped more by who we don’t want to be than who we want to be.

Are we framing our theology in terms of what it is not—not boring, not old-school, not whatever your parents raised you on? By defining our faith in terms of what it isn’t, have we assumed the role of the marginalized hipster and so built our faith on a framework that is reactionary and defensive? If we can only gain spiritual independence by distancing ourselves from “other” faith expressions, we risk organizing the body of Christ into “us” and “them.” Sure, it might be marketable, but is this really the point? …. Read this in full at
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/god-our-generation/finding-faith-our-own

     EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE I LEARNED FROM A JIGSAW PUZZLE
by Jacquie Sewell (with apologies to Robert Fulghum)
1. Don’t force a fit–if something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.

2. When things aren’t going so well, take a break. Everything will look different when you return.

3. Be sure to look at the big picture. Getting hung up on the little pieces only leads to frustration.

4. Perseverance pays off. Every important puzzle went together bit by bit, piece by piece.

5. When one spot stops working, move to another. But be sure to come back later (see #4).

6. The creator of the puzzle gave you the picture as a guidebook. Refer to the Creator’s guidebook often.

7. Variety is the spice of life. It’s the different colors and patterns that make the puzzle interesting.

8. Working together with friends and family makes any task fun.

9. Establish the border first. Boundaries give a sense of security and order.

10. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations. Some matches are surprising.

11. Take time often to celebrate your successes (even little ones).

12. Anything worth doing takes time and effort. A great puzzle can’t be rushed.

13. When you finally reach the last piece, don’t be sad. Rejoice in the masterpiece you’ve made and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Copyright 2001 Jacquie Sewell (jjsewell416@yahoo.com). Permission is granted to send this to others, but not for commercial purposes.
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com

     GRACE
The word grace is a short, simple word. But understanding the biblical depth and meaning of grace can take a lifetime of study and application. It’s almost a shame that a word describing suppleness of movement or a short, quick prayer before a meal is the same word we use to describe God’s unfathomable love for sinners. Nevertheless, it is grace that moves Him to offer us the free gift of salvation and forgiveness.

Grace is what compelled the apostle Paul to write of a mystery never understood before (1 Corinthians 2:7–13). Grace is also what allows us to relax into another’s accepting embrace as he or she gives us the freedom to discover our unique journey laid out by God. Journey down the path toward freedom and the wonderment of the surpassing riches of God’s grace! …. Read this in full at
http://www.insight.org/resources/topics/grace/

     A GRACE REVEALED: HOW GOD REDEEMS THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE
book review by Christopher Hall
In A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life (Zondervan), Jerry Sittser invites us to read with our own stories in mind. How, he asks, do our stories — guided and directed by the Spirit of God — intersect with the much grander, deeper story that ripples through the pages of the Bible, the story that reaches its fulfillment in Jesus Christ?

Sittser’s period of personal grief has afforded him ample opportunity to ponder this question. How could it not? He — as do each of us — has a life story in which God’s larger story of redemption has manifested itself. The car accident that claimed his wife, mother, and young daughter, and its aftermath, good and bad, are but one pane in the multicolored window of Sittser’s life, the stained glass that God has blown and shaped, through which the light of a much greater story shines…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/god-repairs-shattered-glass.html

     JOIN ‘I WAS A STRANGER’ CAMPAIGN
The heart of why evangelical Christians believe we should love, welcome, and seek justice for immigrants is our commitment to the authority of Scripture over every aspect of our lives. The Bible speaks clearly and repeatedly to God’s concern for the immigrant, guiding the Christ-follower toward principles that we believe should inform both the interpersonal ways that we interact with our immigrant neighbors and the public policies that we support.

We’ve prepared a bookmark that lists 40 short biblical passages that relate in one way or another to the topic of immigration. Get your bookmark here, stick it in your Bible, and commit to reading one passage each day for 40 consecutive days….. Read this in full at
http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/iwasastranger/

     ‘THE BIBLE’ EXTENDED TRAILER RELEASED
An extended look at The History Channel’s upcoming “Bible” series has been released. The 4-minute clip reveals powerful scenes involving the Bible’s most beloved figures during gut-wrenching biblical events.

The Bible” will debut on The History Channel March 3. Married couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey created the epic 10-part miniseries, which will bridge the Old Testament with the New Testament, or as Burnett says, “from Genesis to Revelation” with several in-depth portrayals of Bible stories.

Burnett created the television series “Survivor;” Downey is best known for her role on “Touched by an Angel.” …. See the trailer at
http://www.bibleseries.tv/

     PRESBYTERIAN SPLIT-OFF GAINS MOMENTUM
by James Miller
In January of 2012, a new Reformed denominational entity opened, known as ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, offering evangelical churches in the PC(USA) a vehicle for departure. It had a governing board and a medical plan, but absolutely no member churches.

One year later things have changed. ECO held its first national Synod on January 30 – February 1, 2013 in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, and almost 1200 people attended. ECO now has 28 member churches, all of which were dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (USA). There are another 48 churches are in the process of transitioning to ECO, and over 75 more are discerning a possible dismissal to ECO. A movement has launched…. Read this in full at
http://juicyecumenism.com/2013/02/04/presbyterian-split-off-gains-momentum/

     DEATH CAFES GROW AS PLACES TO DISCUSS, LEARN ABOUT END OF LIFE
A few dozen Ohioans will meet Wednesday evening in a community room at a Panera Bread outside of Columbus for tea, cake and conversation over an unusual shared curiosity.

For two hours, split between small circles and a larger group discussion, they’ll talk about death. A facilitator may throw out questions to spark the conversation: How do they want to die? In their sleep? In the hospital? Of what cause? When do they want die? Is 105 too old? Are they scared? What kind of funerals do they want, if any? Is cremation better than burial? And what do they need accomplish before life is over?

This is the Death Cafe, an anything-goes, frank conversation on death that’s been hosted at dozens of coffee shops and community centers in American cities from Arizona to Maine since beginning in the Columbus area in July. Death Cafes are modeled on similar gatherings in European cities that have been taking place for several years…. Read this in full at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/04/death-cafe-dying-end-of-life_n_2618226.html

Also see “Ore. again breaks assisted suicide record”
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=39651

     ATHEIST SAYS HE’LL ‘TURN CHRISTIAN’ IF EVIL IS EXPLAINED DURING MAJOR DEBATE
Atheist philosopher Dr. Alex Rosenberg told Christian theologian Dr. William Lane Craig, and those attending a debate on the existence of God, both at Purdue University and online during a live webcast Feb. 1, that he would “turn Christian” if Craig could explain why God would allow evil.

“In all honesty, if Dr. Craig could provide me with any kind of a logical, coherent account that could reconcile the evident fact of the horrors of human and infer human life on this planet over the last 3.5 billion years with the existence of a benevolent, omnipotent agent then I will turn Christian,” Rosenberg said at the conclusion of his first allotted rebuttal.

Rosenberg prefaced his promise by saying that evil and suffering “needs to be desperately explained.” He asked why a benevolent, omnipotent God would allow such human tragedies as the Holocaust, World War I, and the bubonic plague. He said he found the question perplexing.

“Nobody has been able to provide a satisfactory explanation,” Rosenberg said….. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/atheist-says-hell-turn-christian-if-evil-is-explained-during-major-debate-89362/

     RICHARD DAWKINS LOSES DEBATE AGAINST FORMER ANGLICAN HEAD ROWAN WILLIAMS AT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, defeated prominent atheist professor, Richard Dawkins, in a debate at the University of Cambridge in England on Thursday night, as a vote taken at the conclusion of the debate ruled that religion does have a place in the 21st century.

The debate motion that “religion has no place in the 21st Century” was well-defeated at the event held in front of an audience of about 800 people, mostly students, at the Cambridge Union Society’s chambers, according to the U.K.’s Independent newspaper.

Dawkins lost the debate by 324 votes to 136, as he failed to convince the house that religion has no place.

“Religion has always been a matter of community building, a matter of building relations of compassion, fellow-feeling and, dare I say it, inclusion,” Williams, who stepped down as the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion on Dec. 31, said in his address. “The notion that religious commitment can be purely a private matter is one that runs against the grain of religious history.”…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/richard-dawkins-loses-debate-against-former-anglican-head-rowan-williams-at-cambridge-university-full-video-89364/

See the full video of the debate at
http://gnli.christianpost.com/video/richard-dawkins-andrew-copson-amp-arif-ahmed-debate-rowan-williams-tariq-ramadan-amp-douglas-murray-8404

     JUSTIN WELBY CONFIRMED AS NEW ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
Justin Welby was confirmed Feb. 4 as the new archbishop of Canterbury at a centuries-old service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, six weeks before his formal enthronement inside Canterbury Cathedral on March 21.

Welby, 57, was a banker and oil executive before his ordination as a priest in 1992, and has served as a bishop for less than a year…. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/2013/02/04/justin-welby-confirmed-as-new-archbishop-of-canterbury/

     CONSIDER
I neglect God and his angels for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a door.”
– John Donne

     VERSE TO PONDER
Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.”
– Zechariah 7:10

     THIS WEEK’S HYMN: O KIND CREATOR, BOW THINE EAR
Words: Attributed to Gregory I, 6th Century; translated from Latin to English by Thomas A. Lacey, 1906
Music: George F. Handel (1685-1759)

O kind Creator, bend Thine ear
To mark the cry, to know the tear
Before Thy throne of mercy spent
In this Thy holy fast of Lent.

Our hearts are open, Lord, to Thee;
Thou knowest our infirmity;
Pour out on all who seek Thy face
Abundance of Thy pardoning grace.

Our sins are many, this we know;
Spare us, good Lord, Thy mercy show;
And for the honor of Thy Name
Our fainting souls to life reclaim.

Give us the self control that springs
From discipline of outward things,
That fasting inward secretly
The soul may purely dwell with Thee.

We pray Thee, Holy Trinity,
One God, unchanging Unity,
That we from this our abstinence
May reap the fruits of penitence.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/o/k/okcbtear.htm

     FRIDAY NIGHT ARCHIVE REPLAY – 02/08/2013
Listen to last Friday night’s (02/08/2013) Path Of Life fellowship gathering online broadcast on Blogtalk radio here: IDOLATRY IN THE “CHURCH”
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepath/2013/02/09/idolatry-in-the-church

     ON PRAYER
We never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we pray!”
– Leonard Ravenhill

     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. 

500 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.
http://www.openculture.com/freemoviesonline/

The Ebene Quartet Powers Through Mendelssohn
http://www.npr.org/event/music/170277212/the-ebene-quartet-powers-through-mendelssohn?autoplay=true/

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.) 

All we are saying is give pizza chants.
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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