CONNECTIONS NEWS – 12/4/2014

Connecting man to man to God
For week of December 4, 2017
Issue 549
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.

Today’s issue is going out to over 2,169 weekly subscribers. Thank you in advance for forwarding this issue to friends, family and associates! To have a friend start their own Free subscription to CONNECTIONS, please have them visit: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/page33.html

The day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a dreadful noise, the elements will be consumed by fire, and the earth and all the works done on it will be exposed. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be? You must live holy and godly lives.
– 2 Peter 3:10-11
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+3%3A10-11&version=CEB;NIV;NLT

CONSIDER
“Blessings hemmed with praise will not unravel.”
– Unknown

DID GOD USE HARVEY WEINSTEIN TO SHAKE US?
by Clare De Graaf`
Sex scandals are almost as old as the Fall. And the sexual abuse of women by men in power has been the dirty little secret of politics, business, and entertainment for decades. Men did it because they could. Women put up with it because they had to. It was toxic to their careers to resist. And besides, who would believe them?

Harvey Weinstein changed all that. Almost every day since his story broke, women have been emboldened to expose other abusers. I have no way of knowing if each and every story is true, but when multiple women come forth and they’re not asking for money, most people assume, “where there’s smoke – there’s likely fire.”

So back to the question, “Did God use Harvey Weinstein to shake us up?

I’m not a prophet, but it sounds like the kind of thing God would do. He certainly has done it in the past. God used wicked Nebuchadnezzar to punish Israel. He allowed David to commit adultery with Bathsheba and have her husband killed to cover it up. God used Pilate to condemn Jesus. He used Ananias and Sapphira lies to scare the church to honesty and holiness. Why God didn’t use other means to carry out his will? That’s over my pay grade. That’s God’s business…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2017/11/27/did-god-use-harvey-weinstein-to-shake-us/

HERE’S WHERE EVANGELICALS ARE GIVING THE MOST AND LEAST
While the multi-million dollar tally of Giving Tuesday donations will take time to compile, we already know which kinds of charities are most favored by American evangelicals.

Giving continues to rise for many categories of ministry, according to new research released today by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

An analysis of the finances of more than 1,800 of its accredited members found a 2.2% rise in cash contributions from 2015 to 2016 (the latest year available). This group also saw a 3.6% rise in non-cash giving, which includes income such as government grants or real estate…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/november/where-evangelicals-donate-most-ecfa-ministry-giving-tuesday.html

OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE FROM 30,000 FEET: AN INTERVIEW WITH SKIP HEITZIG
How does the entire Bible fit together? How do so many individual books connect, despite being written by different people over thousands of years? What does a sweeping aerial overview of the landscape of God’s Word look like?

Bible Gateway interviewed Skip Heitzig about his book, The Bible from 30,000 Feet: Soaring Through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation (Harvest House Publishers, 2017).

Q: Explain the composition of the Bible and the purpose of your book.

Skip Heitzig: The Bible is actually 66 books written by about 40 different authors from various backgrounds and written over a 1,600-year time period. Some of the authors were shepherds; others were fishermen, military men, and farmers. One was a Gentile physician and another was a Jewish rabbi. You couldn’t find a more diverse bunch. They also wrote about the most controversial subjects ever, like the origin of the universe, the purpose of life, and the destiny of mankind. Yet the cohesion and agreement about these subjects are remarkable. I wrote The Bible from 30,000 Feet so readers could know with certainty what God wanted people to know from every single book of the Bible and how to apply its principles to their daily lives… Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/overview-of-the-bible-from-30000-feet-an-interview-with-skip-heitzig/

MOST AMAZING FACT IN THE BIBLE
by Bob Tamasy
The Bible, the best-selling book ever, has been translated in entirety into more than 635 languages. The New Testament has been translated into more than 1,440 languages. The Bible is comprised of 66 separate “books” – 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament – with nearly 3,000 languages having at least one of those books. But these statistics pale in comparison to the astonishing array of facts, truths, teachings and principles presented in the Bible, all believed to have been written and compiled under the inspiration of God.

With that in mind, if someone were to ask, “What’s the most amazing fact in the Bible?” how would you respond? …. Read this in full at
http://bobtamasy.blogspot.com/2017/11/most-amazing-fact-in-bible.html

BEWARE THE IDOL OF BUSYNESS AT CHRISTMAS
It is sad how much of our time, effort, and energies are captured by the cultural busyness of Christmastime, rather than the core of the Advent story. We allow Christmas to be more about created stuff than it is about the incarnation of the Creator. We’ve turned the story on its head.

The glory of this story is that the Creator himself becomes a man to rescue us from our bondage to the creation. For some, Christmas has become about bondage to the creation. This is something we should guard against…. Watch this video at
https://www.crossway.org/articles/beware-of-the-idol-of-busyness-at-christmas/

REFLECTIONS ON RESTORATION
by Adam McClendon
The apostle Paul calls believers to be agents of restoration for those bound by sin. Many rich things can be said of this passage, but, for the sake of brevity, only four reflections for consideration will be presented here.

1. Each believer is commanded to be a Restoration Agent.
The statement translated “should restore” is a command in the original language. All believers who have the Spirit of the living God and who are seeking to live in accordance with the Spirit are “spiritual” (Gal 3:14; 4:6; 5:16, 25). This command is for each member of the church, not just those perceived to be leaders…. Read this in full at
https://ftc.co/resource-library/blog-entries/reflections-on-restoration

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO LET THE WORDS OF GOD DIRECT, LEAD, AND GUIDE OUR MOUTHS?
by Lore Ferguson Wilbert
I’ve always been a fast thinker, deducing concepts, abstracts, illustrations, and material quickly — on almost everything except math. Sadly, that quick thinking gave me a smart mouth, and I don’t mean a studied, intelligent, and wise mouth. I mean the kind that got slapped, taped shut, and soap stuffed in it regularly when I was younger.

I could not bridle my tongue. I was a melancholy girl, prone to long spouts of reading and ruminating, and saving up zingers to drop at the moment of maximum potential. One of my parents’ favorite disciplines was to make me write the book of James by hand in a series of black and white composition books. I wish I’d saved them.

To this day I both shudder and cling to the book of James because it holds so much gold for a wily, unbridled tongue like mine…. Read this in full at
http://gcdiscipleship.com/2017/11/26/when-the-words-of-my-mouth-are-pleasing-mostly-to-me/

THE LAST WILL BE FIRST
by James Banks
Recently I was among the last in line to board a large passenger jet with unassigned seating. I located a middle seat beside the wing, but the only spot for my bag was the overhead compartment by the very last row. This meant I had to wait for everyone to leave before I could go back and retrieve it.

I laughed as I settled into my seat and a thought occurred to me that seemed to be from the Lord: “It really won’t hurt you to wait. It will actually do you good.” So I resolved to enjoy the extra time, helping other passengers lower their luggage after we landed and assisting a flight attendant with cleaning. By the time I was able to retrieve my bag, I laughed again when someone thought I worked for the airline…. Read this in full at
https://odb.org/2017/12/01/last-folks-first/

LOCATION OF JESUS’ TOMB SUGGESTED BY SCIENTIFIC DATING
Scientific dating of ancient mortar in Jerusalem has added to what some scholars call mounting evidence the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the site of Jesus’ tomb.

“Obviously our faith does not rest in external evidences,” said Daniel Warner, associate professor of Old Testament and archaeology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, noting the Bible alone is humans’ infallible rule for faith and practice. But “it’s nice and comforting to know that what we’ve been claiming since the [time] of Christ … has always panned out.”

In October 2016, scientists opened the shrine surrounding Jesus’ purported burial site in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the first time in centuries. Among their discoveries was an ancient limestone tomb surrounded by a marble slab.

Independent analyses by two labs released Nov. 28 by National Geographic confirmed that mortar between the slab and the tomb dates to around A.D. 345, approximately the same time Roman records indicate the tomb was enshrined to mark it as Christ’s burial site…. Read this in full at
http://bpnews.net/49979/location-of-jesus-tomb-suggested-by-scientific-dating

HOW TO LIVE THE BIBLE — GRASPING REALITY
by Mel Lawrenz
Some people live their lives disconnected from reality. There is nothing solid beneath their feet because their view of life is based on some fantasy. They may have been raised on lies and so they perpetuate the pattern, believing that there is no one who tells the truth, so why even try to find truth? Or their fantasy-based lives might be a way of escape. Or it could be that they are so afraid of the world, or of themselves, that they create a make-believe world over which they have control, which is, of course, impossible. You can’t control a dream…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/how-to-live-the-bible-grasping-reality/

LOCATION OF JESUS’ TOMB REVEALED?
Scientific dating of ancient mortar in Jerusalem has added to what some scholars call mounting evidence the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the site of Jesus’ tomb.

“Obviously our faith does not rest in external evidences,” said Daniel Warner, associate professor of Old Testament and archaeology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, noting the Bible alone is humans’ infallible rule for faith and practice. But “it’s nice and comforting to know that what we’ve been claiming since the [time] of Christ … has always panned out.”

In October 2016, scientists opened the shrine surrounding Jesus’ purported burial site in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the first time in centuries. Among their discoveries was an ancient limestone tomb surrounded by a marble slab…. Read this in full at
http://bpnews.net/49979/location-of-jesus-tomb-suggested-by-scientific-dating

LATEST BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY RESEARCH
Here is a continually updated collection of the latest research regarding biblical archaeology and history: …. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/latest-biblical-archaeology-research/

VERSE TO PONDER
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
– Psalm 4:8

CONSIDER
“Four things to learn in life:
To think clearly without hurry or confusion;
To love everybody sincerely;
To act in everything with the highest motives;
To trust God unhesitatingly.”
– Helen Keller

A COMMONPLACE BOOK
by Alan Jacobs
Awhile back, I started keeping a commonplace book. Commonplace book is an odd phrase, perhaps, because what you are supposed to record in such a book is, from one point of view, anything but commonplace. It’s likely that, as long as people have been able to write, some have recorded memorable ideas, wise sayings, or beautiful lines of poetry — words of rare value, distinctive enough that we dare not trust them only to our memories…. Read this in full at
https://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/05/a-commonplace-book

AN ICY FALL
After a tragic accident, a man listened to the Word of God in his mother tongue. “It was as if a weight fell off of me when I listened,” he says. “It was as if fire went through my body. I felt how it healed me.” Meet Marek: …. Read this in full at
https://seedcompany.exposure.co/an-icy-fall

EXPLAINER: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ‘NET NEUTRALITY’
by Joe Carter
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a draft of the ‘Restoring Internet Freedom Order,’ a plan to roll back some of the ‘net neutrality’ regulations implemented by the Obama administration.

What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality (short for “network neutrality”) refers to both a design principle and laws that attempt to regulate and enforce that principle. The net neutrality principle is the idea that a public information network should aspire to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally. At its simplest, network neutrality is the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally and that every website—from Google.com to Acton.org—should all be treated the same when it comes to giving users the bandwidth to reach the internet-connected services they prefer…. Read this in full at
http://blog.acton.org/archives/99098-explainer-what-you-should-know-about-net-neutrality.html

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE BORED WITH YOUR FAITH
by Frank Powell
The human brain craves stimulation. When we don’t receive proper stimulation, boredom creeps in. When boredom is left unchecked, disgust forms. Things get worse from there.

Boredom, in small doses, is actually healthy. Boredom protects you. When you engage in monotonous tasks, listen to mono-toned speakers, or join an organization that accepts mediocrity, boredom acts as a red flag. This red flag compels you to go deeper, start something new or get more creative…. Read this in full at
https://relevantmagazine.com/god/practical-faith/what-do-when-youre-bored-your-faith-update

FOUR THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN PRAYING FOR YOUR PRODIGAL
by Jodie Berndt
Mothers and fathers have told me about their kids’ faith; how they’d grown up in the church, attended Christian camps, or gone on mission trips; and read The Chronicles of Narnia at bedtime. These parents, like so many I interviewed, had done everything in their power to produce Christian kids—and sometimes, as one parent put it, “A plus B really did equal C.” But sometimes (a lot of times, actually), it didn’t.

As we partner with God and pray for our prodigals, let’s keep a few key points in mind: …. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/four-things-to-remember-when-praying-for-your-prodigal/

THE SPIRITUAL EFFECT RAISING CHILDREN HAS ON PARENTS: AN INTERVIEW WITH GARY L. THOMAS
Have you considered that perhaps God not only uses parents to influence their children, but that he uses children to change their parents? Could it be that parenting is a school for adult spiritual formation?

Bible Gateway interviewed Gary L. Thomas about his book, Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls (Zondervan, 2017).

Q: Explain your statement, “The process of raising children requires skills that God alone possesses.”

Gary L. Thomas: Ideally, as parents we’d have unlimited energy, the ability to manage tricky emotions like fear and anger, vast stores of wisdom to answer complicated but important questions, love that never grows tired, patience that never ends… Every parent would like to have all of these, but God alone possesses them fully. Parenting reminded me of what I lacked more than it ever made me feel equipped. But there’s a spiritual purpose in that! …. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/the-spiritual-effect-raising-children-has-on-parents-an-interview-with-gary-l-thomas/

CELEBRATING AWESOME WIVES: HOW TO SPOT ONE, HOW TO KEEP ONE
by Gary Thomas
What a joy to be married to a godly woman! A godly wife isn’t a possession, but she is a treasure.

On my Facebook personal page and author page, I asked men to brag about their wives, telling me the three things they most appreciate about their spouses. Four qualities clearly rose to the top.

This is in no way scientific. Most men following me on Facebook are Christians. But I love the way some stereotypes were obliterated.

The four qualities men on Facebook (I’m not saying this is my list or what I think is most important; mine would be somewhat different) most celebrated about their wives, in this order, were: …. Read this in full at
http://www.garythomas.com/celebrating-awesome-wives-spot-one-keep-one/

AMID RVers IN THE ARIZONA DESERT, CHURCH OFFERS FAITH
At least 400 vendors for the nation’s largest RV show plus nine major rock/gem/mineral shows and 15 general swap meets gather each balmy winter in the Sonora Desert of southwestern Arizona.

The vendors see more than a million visitors between December and March who park recreational vehicles, campers, fifth-wheels, vans and sometimes just tents on the flat desert floor around the former mining town of Quartzsite and its 4,000 people.

The Arizona Bureau of Land Management permits camping on its lands in the desert for $180 for six months, according to its website. This makes for an economical — and pleasant, weather-wise — winter base for those seeking relief from the cold and snow in northern parts of the United States and Canada…. Read this in full at
http://bpnews.net/49981/amid-rvers-in-the-ariz-desert-church-offers-faith

FORGED IN WACO’S FIRES: THE FBI AND RELIGION SCHOLARS REFLECT ON THEIR 25-YEAR RELATIONSHIP
by Cathy Lynn Grossman
After a 1993 fire, accidentally triggered by federal authorities, killed 75 members of an obscure Christian sect near Waco, Texas, one of the “lessons learned” was this:

Call in religion experts in a crisis where faith is a factor.

Nearly 25 years after the debacle now simply referred to as “Waco,” FBI officials and scholars from the American Academy of Religion gathered at Harvard Divinity School to reflect on how the crisis in Texas led to a new relationship between them – and on the challenges ahead…. Read this in full at
http://religionnews.com/2017/11/28/fbi-davidians/

THIRD INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CONFERENCE TO SPOTLIGHT PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS AND IMPENDING DISAPPEARANCE OF CHRISTIANITY FROM THE HOLY LANDS AND MIDDLE EAST
Open Doors, the California-based non-profit that has tracked Christian persecution for the past 25 years, points out that millions of Christians face interrogation, arrest, torture, and/or death because of their religious convictions and cultural or ethnic identification. The US State Department reports that Christians face persecution in more than 60 countries with Pew Research noting that between 2007 and 2014, Christians have been targeted for harassment in more countries than any other religious group. Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed “profound concern for the situation of Christians in the Middle East” during their May 2014 meeting in Jerusalem….. Read this in full at
http://religionnews.com/2017/11/22/third-international-religious-freedom-conference-to-spotlight-persecution-of-christians-and-impending-disappearance-of-christianity-from-the-holy-lands-and-middle-east/

CONSIDER
“Love God, and He will enable you to love others, even when they disappoint you.”
– Francine Rivers

VERSE TO PONDER
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17
https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Zephaniah%203:17

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: THE ADVENT OF OUR GOD
Words: Charles Coffin, 1736; translated from Latin to English by John Chandler, 1837
Music: Samuel Wesley, 1837

The advent of our God
Our prayers must now employ,
And we must meet Him on His road
With hymns of holy joy.

The everlasting Son
Incarnate deigns to be;
Himself a servant’s form puts on
To set His people free.

Daughter of Zion, rise
To meet thy lowly King,
Nor let thy faithless heart despise
The peace He comes to bring.

As Judge, on clouds of light,
He soon will come again,
And all His scattered saints unite
With Him in Heaven to reign.

Before the dawning day
Let sin’s dark deeds be gone;
The old man all be put away,
The new man all put on.

All glory to the Son
Who comes to set us free,
With Father, Spirit, ever One,
Through all eternity.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/a/d/adventof.htm

ON PRAYER
“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.”
– Corrie Ten Boom

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

[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know if you’d like
the guys 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.

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

Photos: White House Christmas Decorations Include Nativity Scene
http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-white-house-christmas-photos-2017-11/#this-year-the-white-house-is-filled-with-71-wreaths-53-christmas-trees-with-more-than-12000-ornaments-and-18000-feet-of-christmas-lights-1

New Zealand Police’s most entertaining recruitment video
https://youtu.be/f9psILoYmCc

Woman raises $390,000 for homeless man who helped her
http://www.nj.com/burlington/index.ssf/2017/11/homeless_man_will_get_a_house_dream_truck_in_retur.html

Tortoise Chasing a Cat
https://youtu.be/f2xPEy4PrmA

Liquid Sand Hot Tub
https://youtu.be/My4RA5I0FKs

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

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your email 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.)

I married Ms. Right. I just didn’t know her first name was “Always.”
Frank Coleman
Editor
rev.frank@gmail.com

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful 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 Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, if you’d like to participate in a men’s discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located at 6459 S. Campbell Ave. Chicago, IL 60629.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/

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