Connecting man to man to God
For week of May 19, 2013
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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IN THIS ISSUE:
- CANADIANS TURNING AWAY FROM ORGANIZED RELIGION
- RUSSIAN VIDEO SHOWING LOVE IN ACTION
- CHURCH-BASED SCOUTING ALTERNATIVES ATTRACT INTEREST
- SAINTS TE BENJAMIN WATSON TALKS OVERCOMING NFL CHALLENGES WITH FAITH
- SURVEY: EVANGELICAL LEADERS INFLUENCED BY BILLY GRAHAM
- THE BIBLE VERSE NO GUY ENJOYS READING
- THE 6 WORST THINGS ABOUT AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY
- CONGREGATIONS TEND THE SOIL AND THE SOUL WITH VEGETABLE GARDENS
- POSTMODERNS ARE DISCOVERING OR REDISCOVERING JESUS
- NOTES FROM THE POST-CHRISTIAN FRONT
- 7 IN 10 CHRISTIANS KILLED WORLDWIDE LAST YEAR CAME FROM JUST ONE COUNTRY
- FRIDAY NIGHT REPLAY
- MUCH, MUCH MORE . . .
Thus says the LORD of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.
– Zechariah 7:9-10
“The Bible does not belong on the shelf but in your hand, under your eye, and in your heart.”
– Martin Niemoller
MILLENNIALS: A SPIRITUALLY HOMELESS GENERATION?
Much ink has been spilled in the last few years over what social analysts are calling the “rise of the Nones.” The trend describes the apparent surge in people who claim no faith or say they are unaffiliated with any belief system. One common thread in every survey has been the significant number of Millennials among these “Nones.” Yet, who are these faithless twentysomethings? Where did they come from? Did they ever claim faith? And what is it about religion that has left them cold?
Recent surveys by the Barna Group have shed light on this trend, including 18- to 29-year-olds who used to closely identify themselves with faith and the church, but who have since begun to wrestle with that identity. In fact, between high school and turning 30, nearly half of these once-active Millennials drop out of regular church attendance — that amounts to millions of twentysomethings who have, for various reasons, given up on church or Christianity…. Read this in full at
CANADIANS TURNING AWAY FROM ORGANIZED RELIGION
A new national study shows that while Canada remains overwhelmingly Christian, Canadians are turning their backs on organized religion in ever greater numbers.
Results from the 2011 National Household Survey show that more than two-thirds of Canadians, or some 22 million people, said they were affiliated with a Christian denomination.
At 12.7 million, Roman Catholics were the largest single Christian group, representing 38% of Canadians; the second largest was the United Church, representing about 6%; while Anglicans were third, representing about 5% of the population.
Observers noted that among the survey’s most striking findings is that one in four Canadians, or 7.8 million people, reported they had no religious affiliation at all. That was up sharply from 16.5% from the 2001 census, and 12% in 1991…. Read this in full at
CAN I OBSERVE COMMUNION WITH MY FAMILY OR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS?
by Clare De Graaf
Question: “I’m not ordained. But, can I serve communion to my family or observe it with a group of Christian friends outside of the church?”
The Bible gives very few guidelines for how communion is to be “done” outside of the Gospels and in 1 Cor. 11. In the early churches, communion was never a ceremony in a church building. It was a potluck meal – a “supper”, served in a home. They usually began like the first communion, one person broke a loaf of bread in half or pieces, saying a prayer of remembrance for Christ’s body broken for us, and passed the pieces to everyone else, with great reverence. Then they ate their meal.
After the meal, they prayed and passed a cup of wine around for everyone to drink. Just like Jesus did. “Likewise the cup, after supper saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22:20. So, what else must a Christian consider before observing communion on their own? …. Read this in full at
CRAZY LOVE IS BACK ON BIBLE GATEWAY
The Crazy Love devotional is restarting on Bible Gateway. This devotional is drawn from Francis Chan’s bestselling book of the same name. In the course of 10 weekly reflections, Chan challenges Christians to define our lives with selfless, Christ-like love. Chan is gifted with an amazing ability to take abstract-sounding concepts like “Christ-like love” and illuminate them in practical, everyday terms. To sign up, go to the Newsletters page and subscribe at
RUSSIAN VIDEO SHOWING LOVE IN ACTION
Here’s a touching video produced in Russia that may remind you of the message of the book The 10-Second Rule (http://www.claredegraaf.com/10-second-rule/). Watch it at
VIDEO: FRANCIS COLLINS’ PATH TO FAITH
The leader of the Human Genome project explains how he became a believer in Jesus Christ. …. View this brief video testimony at
Also see his interview with PBS’ ‘The Question of God’ at
THE GOD WHO WEEPS
by Joel J. Miller
Where is God when we suffer? A new book by Frank Viola says he’s there by our side, suffering with us.
Viola’s newest, God’s Favorite Place on Earth, recounts the biblical stories of Jesus’ time in Bethany, the town of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead in anticipation of his own resurrection.
The core question of the book is how Christians come to terms with suffering. While his approach features extensive biblical quotation and an imaginative retelling of the events that occurred in Bethany, Viola is at his best when making connections between passages we perhaps do not often consider together. One that I found particularly moving was his treatment of John 11.35, “Jesus wept.” …. Read this in full at
DO WHAT YOU CAN DO
“I think each village was meant to feel pity for its own sick and poor whom it can help and I doubt if it is the duty of any private person to fix his mind on ills which he cannot help. This may even become an escape from the works of charity we really can do to those we know. God may call any one of us to respond to some far away problem or support those who have been so called. But we are finite and he will not call us everywhere or to support every worthy cause. And real needs are not far from us.”
– C.S Lewis
CHURCH-BASED SCOUTING ALTERNATIVES ATTRACT INTEREST
They have pledges. They have merit badges. And they may go camping. But they’re not the Boy Scouts.
Across the country, there are decades-old religious alternatives with names like Pathfinders (Seventh-day Adventist), Royal Ambassadors (Southern Baptist), and Royal Rangers (Assemblies of God).
And as the Boy Scouts of America considers whether to change its membership policy to admit gay members (but continue its ban on gay leaders), some of these groups are fielding inquiries from people concerned about the action the BSA may take…. Read this in full at
SAINTS TE BENJAMIN WATSON TALKS OVERCOMING NFL CHALLENGES WITH FAITH
Many NFL players have dealt with injuries and the unnerving experience of becoming a free agent, but Benjamin Watson, a veteran tight end who was recently acquired by the New Orleans Saints, says those experiences have helped him understand what it means to have his identity in Christ and to live within the grace of God.
After a successful college career at the University of Georgia, where he met his future wife, Kirsten, Watson became a first-round draft pick for the New England Patriots in 2004. He joined the team hoping to make an immediate impact, he told The Christian Post in an interview, but was quickly sidelined in his first season when he injured his ACL. The Patriots went to the Super Bowl that season while Watson watched from the sidelines, and his frustration with his injury was reflected in his relationships…. Read this in full at
TEBOW KNOWS ‘WHO HOLDS MY FUTURE’
Less than two weeks after the New York Jets released him, quarterback Tim Tebow told a crowd of about 3,000 at a Michigan college that his main goal is to impact lives, whether on or off the field.
And that shouldn’t be too hard considering a Forbes.com survey released in early May named Tebow as America’s most influential athlete. Despite the controversy surrounding his public faith, Tebow, with 29% of the vote, finished ahead of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, at 25%; Jamaican track star Usain Bolt, 23%, and Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, 22%…. Read this in full at
THE BEST KIND OF LIFE
by Mark D. Roberts
I want to live the best kind of life. I want to make my life count. I don’t want to waste my life, living for transient and silly things. I want to live for what really matters.
My desire to live significantly is even stronger since I turned 55. By most measures, I am now a full-fledged senior citizen. This means, among other things, that I now get a senior discount at Denny’s, Dairy Queen, and Dunkin’ Donuts. Of course I’ll be careful not to overuse this discount in order to maximize the number of years I can use it! More seriously, though, my age reminds me that I have only so much time left on this earth, and that I want to use it well…. Read this in full at
‘THE FEARLESS PASSAGE OF STEVEN KIM’
by Dan Wooding
In the first five decades of his life, Seung-Wan (Steven) Kim was a businessman who pursued financial prosperity, while largely ignoring his family and his commitment to God.
In 1975, drawn by visions of success, Steven flew from South Korea to New York with just a few dollars in his pocket. There, he started working as a produce clerk, eventually opening his own store, and he ultimately earned millions of dollars from later enterprises in real estate and furniture.
But then, the financial crash of 1987, and control of Hong Kong being handed over to the Chinese, led Steven into a new business market—mainland China—to establish a manufacturing network. There, he found not only business opportunities but also a strong Christian faith, which he had neglected for years in favor of pursuing wealth and success…. Read this in full at
SURVEY: EVANGELICAL LEADERS INFLUENCED BY BILLY GRAHAM
As evangelist Billy Graham prepares for his final major outreach event, which is set to occur later this year, a recent survey has offered a glimpse into how his ministry has touched evangelical leaders.
The Evangelical Leaders Survey for the month of April found that 73% of National Association of Evangelicals leaders have attended a Billy Graham crusade, and 44% have met the evangelist in person. The poll encompasses responses from the NAE’s board of directors, which includes the CEOs of denominations as well as leaders from evangelical churches, schools, and other organizations.
“The evangelical resurgence in America has been centered around Billy Graham,” NAE President Leith Anderson said in a statement. “He communicated the gospel of Jesus Christ for everyone. Never about politics, ambition, money, or power. Just about Jesus.” …. Read this in full at
THE BIBLE VERSE NO GUY ENJOYS READING
by J. Lee Grady
I’d never heard a sermon on Deuteronomy 23:1 until last month, when my Puerto Rican friend Luis Roig had the courage to read the text out loud to a group of men in Florida. When he did, one guy gasped and fell on the floor. Several others laughed nervously, and we all drew our knees together and groaned.
The Holman translation says it this way: “No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may enter the Lord’s assembly.” Ouch!
Most of us dismiss or ignore this odd passage, either because the subject matter is embarrassing or because the law seems unfair. After all, if a man’s private parts are damaged in an accident, why should he be considered an outcast? But this verse is relevant to us today because we face a masculinity crisis…. Read this in full at
THE GOSPEL OF GATSBY AND DRAPER
by Jackson Cuidon and Alissa Wilkinson
What does the self-made man love? He is a figure we’re all familiar with, the auto-constructed man, especially as Americans. Someone from Nowhere decides that, using his inherent smarts or wits or ambition, he is going to be someone, make a difference, something like that. What if the self-made man wakes up one day and hates himself? …. Read this in full at
THE 6 WORST THINGS ABOUT AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY
by Stephen Mattson
America is wonderful! We have religious freedom to express our beliefs and worship according to our preferences, but there are also very distinct problems associated with American Christianity. Here are some of the main ones:
Instead of unifying believers, Christ has become a symbol of discontentment and divisiveness. Theologians publicly humiliate each other, pastors hatefully condemn those they disagree with, denominations split over minor differences, Facebook is used as a platform to spread hurtful comments and derogatory memes, Twitter accounts are used as vicious tools of attacks, and people spew degrading opinions and gossip—often without provocation. Disdain reaches hyperbolic proportions, and accusations of being a “heretic” and “false prophet” are freely given to various individuals who simply have new, bold or different ideas.
American Christians have forgotten how to dialogue and respectfully disagree. We’ve abandoned concepts like grace, humility and love and have devolved into critics instead of encouragers, instigators instead of peacemakers, debaters instead of friends, and reactionists instead of innovators…. Read this in full at
VERSE TO PONDER
“The LORD your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing.”
– Zephaniah 3:17 (CEB)
“Faith is to believe what you do not yet see, the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.”
CHRISTIAN MOVEMENTS GROWING IN US INCLUDE MULTISITE CHURCHES, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, GENEROSITY
Two movements among Christian congregations in the US today, churches with multiple locations (multisite) and leadership development (discipleship), continue to gain momentum as new innovations are being introduced. In addition, perhaps in an even newer development, a growing number of churches are intentionally developing a culture of generosity, an effort to help carry the gospel message outside the church, says the director of new media and technology for the Leadership Network.
“The multisite (one church, multiple locations) movement continues to gain momentum,” Todd Rhoades, of Leadership Network, told The Christian Post via email. “We’re seeing no slow down at all in the number of churches being involved in multisite ministry. In fact, we’re seeing new waves of innovation in the movement itself: including international campuses, online campuses, the move from big cities to rural environments, and more churches partnering to redeem facilities and struggling churches through church mergers.” …. Read this in full at
“Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter conversations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back- in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.”
– Frederick Buechner
10 MILLION TITHERS DONATE MORE THAN $50 BILLION
There are an estimated 10 million tithers in America that donate more than $50 billion annually to religious and charitable causes. A new 5-year constituency study released by the State of the Plate gives an inside, in-depth look at the financial, giving, and spiritual practices of 4,413 people who donate 10% or more each year.
Survey participants came from all 50 states, all types of churches, and all income levels. The full report, “20 Truths about Tithers,” provides 27 pages of valuable information on this important group of givers for the media, pastors, church, and non-profit leaders…. Read this in full at
CONGREGATIONS TEND THE SOIL AND THE SOUL WITH VEGETABLE GARDENS
The Rev. Morris G. Henderson wasn’t sure what do with a vacant city block of land behind his 31st Street Baptist Church in Richmond, Va. The church had purchased the plots, but didn’t have the funding to build a planned family life center.
Then, he had a vision. “Why not build a garden and people can learn to be self-sufficient and we can grow food?” Henderson said. With an 80-year-old congregant heading the project, the congregation planted its first garden in 2008: watermelons, tomatoes, okra, squash, strawberries and blueberries …. Read this in full at
POSTMODERNS ARE DISCOVERING OR REDISCOVERING JESUS
by Bill Leonard
These days, it appears that many postmoderns inside and perhaps outside the church are discovering or rediscovering, visiting or revisiting, Jesus, what he says and what he means.
Why? Perhaps because Jesus is so fascinating, his words and actions so timeless, that he captivates every generation.
Perhaps in an increasingly “none-centered” culture, where a rapidly growing number of persons claim no discernable religious identity, Jesus is “as One unknown.”
Perhaps because Christ’s body, the church, is compelled to retell the Jesus story in ways that might captivate those for whom the Galilean remains “without a name.”
Efforts to articulate Jesus anew are evident across the theological spectrum…. Read this in full at
NOTES FROM THE POST-CHRISTIAN FRONT
by Rick Marschall
Heresies nibbled around the edges of the early Church two thousand years ago. Often they were persuasive enough to some believers that creeds were codified in order to resist error. “What do we believe? Let us keep things fresh in our minds, and write these principles down, that we might meditate on them, and bequeath them, properly, to our children.”
Today most churches have forgotten the creeds. Protestant churches often ignore them. Many churches no longer recite the Lord’s Prayer. There is no vacuum, however: their places have been filled by rituals like Exchanging the Peace. “Peace be with you.” A holy kiss. A three-pat hug. We care, as Christ commended. Programs exist to facilitate, and prove, that caring impulse, for all the world to see…. Read this in full at
MATTHEW WARD AND ANNIE HERRING ‘HEAR THE BELLS RINGING…’ FOR A NEW CHAPTER IN THEIR LIVES
by Dan Wooding
For millions around the world, The 2nd Chapter of Acts, were one of the most brilliant and talented family trios ever to come out of the Jesus Music Movement, later to be called Contemporary Christian Music.
Their tight and intricate harmonies on hits like “Easter Song” certainly brought much joy to the world.
The pioneering group was made up of sisters, Annie Herring and Nelly Greisen, and their brother Matthew Ward, whose ministry was in no small part forged from a personal family tragedy. In 1968 their mother, Elizabeth Ward, died of a brain tumor; and then two years later their father, Walter, died of leukemia leaving Matthew and his youngest sister, Nelly orphaned…. Read this in full at
BIG CROSS: WISCONSIN CHURCH DETERMINED TO BE SEEN
In 2003, the leadership of New Life Assembly of God adopted a new vision statement: “To make the Janesville (Wisconsin) area Christ conscious.”
Love it or hate it, the new, 60-foot cross on the church’s grounds fits that vision.
Construction of the cross started April 29, and a crane recently lifted the top section of the cross into place, bringing it to its full height. Church Deacon Wayne Korsberg slid into a fall-restraint harness as volunteer workers from the church used a lift to fasten sections of white, corrugated steel to the cross frame…. Read this in full at
BRITISH CHURCH ATTENDANCE STABILIZES AFTER YEARS OF DECLINE
The number of people attending Sunday services at Britain’s Anglican churches is continuing to drop, but church officials say there are signs that the decline is starting to stabilize.
A spokesperson for the Church of England said May 7 that average weekly attendance at the nation’s 16,247 Anglican parishes was 1.1 million in 2011, representing a drop of just 0.3% from the previous year’s figures.
The annual statistics reveal a substantial increase in attendance at the country’s storied cathedrals: Christmas churchgoing rose by 14%, christenings were up 4.3%, and adult baptisms were up 5%. The number of weddings was down 3.6%, to 51,880…. Read this in full at
A WAKE-UP CALL FOR BLASÉ BELIEVERS
by Collin Hansen
Some Christian leaders contend that we are divided and ineffective in our witness because the Western world has turned against us and the church has abandoned the truth of the gospel. Others see a hostile, hurting world and blame the church for failing in compassion for the kind of sinners Jesus joined for dinner.
And then there’s Richard Stearns, president of World Vision and a former corporate CEO, who faults the church for a lack of will to finish the mission Jesus left behind for us. Following up on his successful first book, The Hole in Our Gospel, Stearns observes in Unfinished: Believing Is Only the Beginning (Thomas Nelson) that “affluent, comfortable, and distracted” Christians no longer burn with passion to change the world. Yet we still want to know our lives matter. We want to know we’re living out God’s purpose for us. We don’t want to confine our Christianity to Sunday morning. Stearns seeks to reinvigorate our Christianity with zeal to resume the revolution launched by Jesus so we can storm the very gates of hell…. Read this in full at
DOCUMENTARY TELLS VIETNAM VET’S POST-BATTLEFIELD SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Greg Tomlin will always remember the day he and his father Jerry, a Vietnam veteran, visited the site where Jerry was wounded in combat.
All day the elder Tomlin was withdrawn. Then on the battlefield he spoke to his comrades who died the day he was wounded, telling them, “So long, boys. I’m never going to think about this again.” After that, Greg Tomlin says his father was different, like a burden had been lifted. Since that day their relationship has been stronger than ever.
Greg Tomlin hopes that a documentary he has produced, written, and directed similarly deepens relationships between other Vietnam veterans and their sons and daughters by encouraging them to discuss what happened in the war. Such discussions will help veterans’ children “understand what their dads went through and what made them who they are,” he said.
Tomlin’s documentary, “The Man Left Behind,” follows retired Army colonel Paul Longgrear, along with his wife and three adult children, back to the Vietnam jungle where he was wounded and, amid the anguish, turned to Christ 45 years ago during the Battle of Lang Vei. The film has received critical acclaim, including selection as a finalist at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival in February following its summer 2012 release…. Read this in full at
EXTREME GIVER ADAM GRANT LENDS US HIS ADVICE ON BECOMING A MORE GENEROUS LEADER
by Mark C. Crowley
Wharton professor and extreme giver Adam Grant has devoted the past decade to discovering what characterizes people who achieve extraordinary success in their careers. His conclusion, supported by an exhaustive compilation of academic research, has the potential to influence a massive shift in global workplace behavior.
In his landmark new book, Give and Take, Grant shows us that highly accomplished people (including himself, as a recent lengthy profile in The New York Times Sunday magazine made clear), approach their interactions with others in uncommonly altruistic ways. In a sense, he confirms what virtually every world religion and spiritual tradition has taught through the ages: “For it is in giving that we receive.”
The ideas presented in Give and Take aren’t just applicable to one’s personal or career success. They’re also very likely to affect how we collectively approach workplace leadership going forward.
I recently had an opportunity to speak with Grant about why a spirit of generosity is so critical to leadership success. First, a brief summary of his thesis…. Read this in full at
7 IN 10 CHRISTIANS KILLED WORLDWIDE LAST YEAR CAME FROM JUST ONE COUNTRY
Nearly 1,000 Nigerian Christians were killed in 2012, and more than 100 have died in the first few months of 2013, according to Jubilee Campaign. Executive director Ann Buwalda says this accounts for “almost 70 percent of Christians killed globally” last year, making Nigeria “the most lethal country for Christians by a huge margin.” …. Read this in full at
7 MOST HARMFUL AND HELPFUL MARITAL BEHAVIORS
Bestselling author, counselor and syndicated radio host Stephen Arterburn says marriage can be easier than most couples think by uprooting the 7 most harmful behaviors and replacing them with the 7 most helpful ones. After conducting a national survey of over two-thousand married and formerly-married individuals, Arterburn shares the 7 most commonly-cited “harmful behaviors” within a marriage relationship, the 7 most “helpful” ones, and how to implement lasting changes in his new book, “The 7- Minute Marriage Solution: 7 Things to Stop! 7 Things to Start! 7 Minutes that Matter Most!” (May 2013, Worthy Publishing).
Arterburn says, “Yes, we all have issues with our mates, but overall, we make marriage ridiculously harder than it has to be. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all know the self-defeating things we do and the thoughtless things we fail to do every day.” Behaviors that made the list of harmful things include using put-down humor, trying to change their partner, secretly spending money, nagging, using the silent treatment, and holding grudges. The behaviors Arterburn urges couples to start include managing money responsibly, focusing on fun and joy, and respecting their mate…. Read this in full at
by Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson
Technology has given us many gifts, among them dozens of new ways to grab our attention. It’s hard to talk to a friend without your phone buzzing at least once. Odds are high you will check your Twitter feed or Facebook wall while reading this article. Just try to type a memo at work without having an e-mail pop up that ruins your train of thought.
But what constitutes distraction? Does the mere possibility that a phone call or e-mail will soon arrive drain your brain power? And does distraction matter — do interruptions make us dumber? Quite a bit, according to new research by Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab.
There’s a lot of debate among brain researchers about the impact of gadgets on our brains. Most discussion has focused on the deleterious effect of multitasking. Early results show what most of us know implicitly: if you do two things at once, both efforts suffer…. Read this in full at
GEORGIA GOV. ORDERS BIBLES RETURNED TO STATE PARKS
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal ordered that Bibles be returned to cabins and lodges owned at state parks reversing a decision by the Department of Natural Resources to ban the books.
“Out of an abundance of caution to avoid potential litigation, the commissioner removed the Bibles from the rooms – though they were still available on site – after a complaint from a visitor,” Deal said in a statement.
The Bibles had been donated to the state by The Gideons International and were traditionally placed in cabins and lodge rooms at state parks…. Read this in full at
MAKING ROOM FOR THE SPIRIT
by Molly T. Marshall
St. Ignatius of Loyola sent people on mission with this instruction: “Go, set the whole world on fire and in flame.”
Fueling destruction was not on his mind. He had already seen enough of the travesty of war, having been seriously wounded in the Battle of Pamplona in 1521. Rather, he was concerned with fomenting desire for God and passion for the gospel.
History tells us that his Society of Jesus was an ardent mission movement, proclaiming grace and forgiveness in places newly discovered in the 16th century.
Stirring into flame this “holy longing” to love God and serve expansively depends upon receptivity to the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit within who wills to work through us for God’s good purposes. Yet, many Christians regard the listing ways of the Spirit with suspicion, perhaps because we can never control holy presence…. Read this in full at
“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion; it is like a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”
– Billy Graham
VERSE TO PONDER
“Just as you don’t understand what the life-breath does in the fetus inside a pregnant woman’s womb, so you can’t understand the work of God, who makes everything happen.”
– Ecclesiastes 11:5 (CEB)
THIS WEEK’S HYMN: COME, HOLY GHOST, GOD AND LORD!
Words: Martin Luther, 1524
Music: 15th Century melody
Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord!
Be all Thy graces now outpoured
On each believer’s mind and heart;
Thy fervent love to them impart.
Lord, by the brightness of Thy light
Thou in the faith dost men unite
Of every land and every tongue;
This to Thy praise, O Lord, our God, be sung.
Thou holy Light, Guide divine,
Oh, cause the Word of Life to shine!
Teach us to know our God aright
And call Him Father with delight.
From every error keep us free;
Let none but Christ our Master be
That we in living faith abide,
In Him, our Lord, with all our might confide.
Thou holy Fire, Comfort true,
Grant us the will Thy work to do
And in Thy service to abide;
Let trials turn us not aside.
Lord, by Thy power prepare each heart
And to our weakness strength impart
That bravely here we may contend,
Through life and death to Thee, our Lord, ascend.
>from NetHymnal at
FRIDAY NIGHT ARCHIVE REPLAY – 05/17/2013
ELIMINATE THE DISTRACTIONS
In order to hear what God is saying, we must remove all distractions and keep our eyes on Him!
“As I see it, true prayer is neither mystical rapture nor ritual observance nor philosophical reflection: it is the outpouring of the soul before a living God, the crying to God “out of the depths.” Such prayer can only be uttered by one convicted of sin by the grace of God and moved to confession by the Spirit of God. True prayer is an encounter with the Holy in which we realize not only our creatureliness and guilt but also the joy of knowing that our sins are forgiven through the atoning death of the divine savior, Jesus Christ. In such an encounter, we are impelled not only to bow before God and seek his mercy but also to offer thanksgiving for grace that goes out to undeserving sinners.”
– Donald G. Bloesch (1928-2010), The Struggle of Prayer, Harper & Row, 1980, p. 8
PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
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!
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will
Raises or bonuses
Sales & commissions
Estates & inheritances
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.]
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Marriage Advice: Being married is a lot like living in California … If you find a fault, don’t dwell on it!
Frank Coleman, Editor
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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.
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