CONNECTIONS – 12/6/09

For week of December 6, 2009
Issue 281

The Men’s Ministry 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 1,897 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
or subscribe via rss feed here:
http://www.connectionsnews.wordpress.com/feed


God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7

CONSIDER
“What then is the difference between the good man and the bad? Only this: They both suffer, they both have pain, they both know tension and trouble, but there is a difference in what they suffer for, in what they have trouble from, in what takes away their peace of mind. The measure of a man is that which bothers him, that which disturbs his mind, that which annoys him and costs him pain.”
Jack Riemer

OPERATION ARRIVAL
by Charles R. Swindoll
For the longest time I didn’t understand the new-car industry. I had always thought it worked like this. When a guy wanted a car, he dropped by the local dealership, kicked a few tires, slammed some doors, and fiddled around with radios, hoods, and trunk lids. Then he would rap with the salesman, dicker over prices, choose his favorite color, and place the order. I figured that when headquarters got the specs, they’d scurry around the shop finding the right steering wheel, engine, chrome strips, and hubcaps, then make sure all that stuff got stuck on correctly before it was shipped. You know, kind of like whipping up a last-minute meal with grub from the kitchen.

But that’s not the way it is at all. To my amazement, I discovered that a computer card puts into motion dozens of contacts all over the country. One spot makes only engines. Another, the glass and plastic parts. Some other outfit does the steering wheels, and yet another the carpet and vinyl. As the order is placed, it triggers action in all these related areas. And – hopefully — at just the right time the special things arrive at the assembly plant where it all comes together — everything from bumper bolts to windshield wipers. And within a relatively short period of time, a shiny new car is punched out, rolled onto a transport truck, and sent to its proper destination.

What a remarkable arrangement ingenious Americans have devised! And none of it was even thought of 200 years ago.

Now then — if man can come up with an organizational plan as complex as all that, think of how much more efficient God’s arrangement was . . . over 2,000 years ago. I’m referring to the perfectly synchronized events surrounding the Savior’s birth. For sure, it was no afterthought. Scripture assures us that “when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son.” (Galatians 4:4) Fantastic statement! At just the right moment, precisely as God arranged it, in keeping with a plan we might dub “Operation Arrival,” enter Messiah…. Read this in full at
http://www.insight.org/library/articles/bible/operation-arrival-1.html

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD GROWS, THANKS TO VEGGIETALES
“What if December looked different this year? What if we all gave Christmas away?” That’s the refrain from the theme song of a new Christmas video from VeggieTales, the animated children’s stories that share gentle Gospel messages.

But the video, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, is doing more than entertaining. As befits its theme song, Give This Christmas Away, it has become a vehicle for giving -– and providing a boost to the world’s largest children’s Christmas outreach ministry, Operation Christmas Child…. Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-12-02-song02_ST_N.htm

HOLLY AND HOLY
In northern Europe, a walk through a winter’s forest is a bleak affair — white, stark, cold, lifeless except for occasional boughs of green holly bearing bright red berries. In Medieval times, these boughs were brought inside to brighten the interior of the small houses. As Christianity spread, people noticed that the thorny points of the holly leaves could symbolize our Lord’s crown of thorns. The red berries, His blood. The green color, the new life He gives. Even the word “holly” resembles the word “holy.”

How interesting that all nature points to Him who created the earth and died for the world. Romans 1:20 says, “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

As you see the blue skies today or the falling snow or the green boughs of holly in homes, stores, and offices, remember: The baby in the manger is the Maker of the universe, and the Christ child we worship is the creator of the cosmos.
Source: Turning Point Daily Devotionals, 12-20-08

THE DARKER SIDE OF ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL’
by Lisa Toland
Just in time for the holidays, Walt Disney has released what looks to be another memorable adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. The cold and harsh, penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge returns to the big screen, this time in animated form, to have his conscience reawakened by the apparition of his former partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future.

It’s a much-loved holiday story. Part of its charm is that it immerses us in a Victorian-era Christmas, replete with frosted windows, mistletoe, plum pudding, and jolly good cheer. But Dickens’s classic also continues to capture our imagination because of its portrayal of a social and economic world of great inequity and deep suffering. It’s a world more brutal than we sometimes imagine, and one that in many ways is not too different from our own…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/december/3.44.html

BISHOP RIPS BELOVED CAROLS AS `NONSENSE’
A leading Church of England bishop has slammed a number of the world’s favorite Christmas carols, saying some have “nonsense” words that are embarrassing and others reek of “Victorian behavior control.”

Bishop Nick Baines of Croydon said “all sorts of fantasies have grown up around Christmas” that leave many people thinking of the celebration as “nothing more than some sort of fairy story.”

In his new book, “Why Wish You a Merry Christmas,” Baines cites the line in “Away in a Manger” that goes “no crying He makes,” and wonders, “How can any adult sing this without embarrassment?”

“It’s nonsense,” he says, adding that he finds it “slightly bizarre” that parents could sing that carol “as if it actually related to reality.”

In the carol “Once in Royal David’s City,” a particular favorite in Britain, its line “mild, obedient, good as He” smacks of “Victorian behavior,” Baines said.

For good measure, the bishop attacks another well-loved Christmas hymn, “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” suggesting that it should more accurately be called “O Come All Ye Faithless.”

Baines noted that it was not the “faithful” but the shepherds — “the great unwashed,” as he described them — and the “pagan” Wise Men who went to see the baby Jesus.

The bishop describes such Christmas fantasies as “nothing short of tragic, because nothing could be further from the truth.”
http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=19168

HA!
It was Christmas and the judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner, “What are you charged with?”
“Doing my Christmas shopping early,” replied the defendant.
“That’s no offense,” said the judge. “How early were you doing this shopping?”
“Before the store opened,” the prisoner answered

STUDY: PORNOGRAPHY USE LEADS TO MARITAL DISSATISFACTION, INFIDELITY, SEPARATION, AND DIVORCE
Washington, DC-based Family Research Council released a new study detailing the effects of pornography on marriages, children, and individuals.

“This is a ground-breaking review of what pornography costs families trying to create a life together,” said Dr. Pat Fagan, who authored the study and serves as FRC’s senior fellow and director of the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion. “Men, women, and sometimes even children are saturated by sexual content, and more significantly, are told that it has no real effect. It’s just a little amusement.”

But through the study, Fagan affirmed that “pornography corrodes the conscience, promotes distrust between husbands and wives, and debases untold thousands of young women. It is not harmless escapism but relational and emotional poison.”

Pornography use, Fagan says, is “a quiet family killer.” Men are more than six times as likely to view pornography as females and more likely to spend more time viewing it. Men who habitually look at pornography have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexual behaviors, sexual aggression, promiscuity, and even rape. Moreover, men begin to view women and even children as “sex objects.” Additionally, addictive pornography use leads to lower self-esteem and a weakened ability to carry out a meaningful social and work life…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20091202/family-group-releases-study-on-effects-of-pornography/index.html

WEA LEADERS CONCLUDE HISTORIC MEETINGS IN CHINA
A group of 24 leaders from seven regions of the world has concluded the World Evangelical Alliance’s first official visit to China.

After spending time in Shanghai with the national leadership of the China Christian Council (CCC) and the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China (National Committee of the TSPM), the group left for Nanjing and Beijing.

In Nanjing the WEA representatives were hosted by the Jiangsu Christian Council, Nanjing Seminary, the Amity Foundation and the Amity Printing Co., Ltd.

The WEA’s International Director Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe commented, “Our team was impressed by the significant Bible printing operation which provides Scriptures for both the Chinese and international markets.”

At the Foundation, the group was challenged and encouraged by the scope, depth, and professionalism of the community services, development projects and humanitarian aid…. Read this in full at
http://www.worldevangelicals.org/news/article.htm?id=2710&cat=press

NJ CHURCH ATTRACTS MEN WITH MIX OF GOD, GRIDIRON
Sundays are synonymous with two things — church and football. Now, thanks to a New Jersey pastor, parishioners get to enjoy both at the same time. It’s God and the gridiron, celebrated like you’ve never seen before. The church knows the perfect way to man-up its membership.

A football-themed service at the New Hope Baptist Church in East Orange attracted so many men and boys that they outnumbered female parishioners for the first time in a long time. “Everywhere you go, women outweigh the men in church, but here we try to draw our men back to church,” church deacon Bryant Adams says.

Pastor Dwight Gill encouraged and recreated a stadium atmosphere, as the church rang with the sounds of cheering, clapping, and foot-stomping….. Read this in full at
http://wcbstv.com/watercooler/nj.football.church.2.1339990.html

10 MINUTES WITH LEIGH ANNE TUOHY
In the new movie “The Blind Side,” Sandra Bullock plays real-life Memphis mother Leigh Anne Tuohy, a woman whose family is turned upside down when she spots Michael Oher — a young boy who has left the projects and has nowhere to turn.

The Tuohys decide to provide a home for Michael and as a result, he reaches heights—both as a student and as a football player—that few could have imagined. In the process, he not only transforms himself, but those around him.

Oher, 23, now plays for the Baltimore Ravens. Tuohy spoke about the movie that depicts her family’s life and in particular, the role faith played. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Q: Religion is definitely hinted at in “The Blind Side.” Can you tell me more about your family’s religious background?

A: My husband and I met at Ole Miss. Sean was Catholic, and I went to a nondenominational evangelical church. We did all different churches. And after we moved to Memphis, we started our own church called “Grace Evangelical.” We started with less than 50 people. It really has grown, and we have a great core of people…. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/tenminutes/10_minutes_with_leigh_anne_tuohy1/

‘THE BLIND SIDE’ WRITES A NEW PLAYBOOK
Hollywood blockbusters aren’t usually born in movie theaters in Dallas, Birmingham or Nashville. But that’s exactly where “The Blind Side” has taken off — a show-business phenomenon driven by audiences in the South and Midwest storming to a movie about Christian charity and football that stars Sandra Bullock.

In one of the more extraordinary box-office stories of the year, writer-director John Lee Hancock’s movie about Baltimore Ravens lineman Michael Oher — who as a homeless black teen was taken in and nurtured by a well-off, churchgoing white couple — nearly toppled the smash sequel “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” at multiplexes in both films’ second weekend of release. Its ticket sales grew by 18% — the first time this year that a movie in wide release saw its domestic gross grow on its second weekend — while those for the teen vampire drama plummeted by 70%.

Terry Mattingly, a religion columnist for Scripps Howard News Service and the director of the Christian-oriented Washington Journalism Center, believes that “The Blind Side” is working with audiences because the film’s Christian back story is neither gratuitous nor didactic.

“What makes a movie like this important to me is that it doesn’t slap people in the face with religion,” Mattingly said. “Most films from Hollywood that involve faith take out all the details — it’s just vague and mushy or it’s negative religious stereotypes.

“But ‘The Blind Side’ is a real movie. And then it has another factor: showing respect for religious motivations and emotions. So you have people lining up.”…. Read this in full at
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-blind1-2009dec01,0,4642833.story

YOUNG, EVANGELICAL — AND COMMITTED TO SOCIAL JUSTICE
Without disowning longstanding causes for evangelical activists like opposition to abortion or support for school vouchers, young evangelicals have taken up issues previously abdicated to secular and religious liberals: climate change, AIDS prevention and treatment, Third World poverty.

Among colleagues in the Wheaton office of World Relief is Matthew Soerens, who at 26 has already written a book, with Jenny Hwang, on immigration reform from an evangelical Christian perspective, “Welcoming the Stranger.” The executive director of the office, Hayley Meksi, is 32.

“It’s not that we’ve rejected the issues that our parents were concerned about,” Mr. Soerens said. “We’ve widened the spectrum of issues that can be dealt with on a biblical basis and that our Christian faith speaks to.”

Still, there was little in the upbringing of these young evangelicals that made social justice the obvious career choice or theological focus. One is the daughter of a career Army officer who served in both Iraq wars. She was home-schooled for several years, and she cried the night Bill Clinton defeated Senator Bob Dole, a World War II veteran, to win his second term as president…. Read this in full at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/28/us/28religion.html?_r=1

YOU SAID IT
“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”
James Dent

HANDWRITTEN BIBLE SELLS FOR MORE THAN $15,000
The first handwritten copy of the New International Version Bible has sold on eBay for more than $15,000. Zondervan’s handwritten Bible Across America project marked the 30th anniversary of the popular New International Version translation.

Bible publisher Zondervan went on a nine-month tour across the United States to give people a chance to write one verse of the Bible for the edition.

One of the two original manuscripts was sold on the Web-based sales site eBay for $15,407.53. The other was intended to be donated to the Smithsonian, but Zondervan is now looking at other museum options. The Smithsonian Institution was unable to comment on the offer.

Printed copies of the hand-written Bible went on sale Dec. 1, including scans of the handwritten verses, photos of the tour and an index of the 31,173 contributors who penned a verse for the Bible.

Proceeds from the eBay sale will go to Biblica, the company that emerged from the merger between the International Bible Society and Christian distributor Send the Light, to support its global Bible translation and distribution efforts.
http://www.pcusa.org/pcnews/2009/091027.htm

PROFILE: WINTLEY PHIPPS
Grammy-nominated Gospel singer and Seventh-day Adventist pastor Wintley Phipps has performed at many notable occasions around the world, before many distinguished guests including 6 American presidents, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela. But Rev. Phipps’ successful music career is not the only focus for the 54-year-old Trinidad-born minister. He is also trying to make a difference in the lives of at-risk kids through his charitable, non-profit organization, US Dream Academy. In this video interview the acclaimed artist discusses how music inspires his ministry and reflects the deepest expressions of his Christian faith…. Read and see this in full at
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/april-10-2009/wintley-phipps/2627/

LEADERSHIP TIPS (BUSINESS, FAMILY, LIFE)
MAKING VISION STICK
“It’s tough to make vision stick. Time has a way of eroding the adhesive,” writes Andy Stanley in his book Making Vision Stick (Zondervan). He explains:

“Vision is about what could be and should be, but life is about right this minute. As important as we believe it is for people in our organizations to embrace our pictures of the future, their lives are consumed with the present. Life is about deadlines and decisions and problem solving, not to mention the kids and the house and the bills and the yard. To get people to sit still long enough to understand your vision is hard enough. But to get them to actually organize their lives around it is supremely difficult. The urgent and legitimate needs of today quickly erase our commitment to the what could be of tomorrow.”

Stanley continues by identifying “five things you can do to significantly increase the adhesiveness of your vision”:

1. State the vision simply.
2. Cast the vision convincingly.
3. Repeat the vision regularly.
4. Celebrate the vision systematically.
5. Embrace the vision personally.

VERSE TO PONDER
“The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.”
2 Peter 3:10-11

CONSIDER
“Something terrible happens, and you might say, ‘God help us!’ or ‘Jesus Christ!’ — the poor, crippled prayers that are hidden in the minor blasphemies of people for whom in every sense God is dead, except that they still have to speak to him, if only through clenched teeth.”
Frederick Buechner (b. 1926), The Magnificent Defeat

TV PREACHERS: EVERYTHING BUT THE GOSPEL?
Mary Hutchinson of Inspired Direct, a direct mail and fundraising company for non-profits, churches, and ministries, conducted an interesting experiment recently. She sent a simple letter, under an assumed name, to dozens of TV ministries that claim to be about “winning the lost.” She enclosed a $20 bill with each letter and asked “how to accept Jesus in my heart.”

The good news: She got responses from 95 percent of the ministries. The bad? Less than 25 percent gave her a simple, direct answer to her question about how to become a Christian.

Hutchinson writes: “If we are really about evangelism, how could this be? The most impressive of all responses was a simple letter from a smaller ministry that walked me down the road to salvation. It was personal, direct and spoke to me from the heart. A few others had small books dedicated to doing that as well; they just presented it in a more formal manner. Another 20 percent sent me packages that contained a book, or a handful of books and DVDs, but none gave a direct answer to the most important question of all. In fact, one up-and-coming TV preacher sent me such a large package of “stuff” that it cost him $8.10 to mail it to me!” …. Read and see this in full at
http://www.philcooke.com/direct_mail_response

GERMAN SUPREME COURT CURBS SUNDAY SHOPPING
The German Supreme Court has curbed Sunday shopping during the advent season in the capital Berlin.

The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe recently ruled unconstitutional the Berlin regulations allowing shops to be open on up to ten Sundays annually, including all four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The German federal constitution protects Sundays as days of rest and “spiritual elevation”. …. Read and see this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2009/s09120001.htm
and
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2009/12/germanys-highest-court-rules-a.php

ARE YOU DANGEROUSLY TIRED?
See how many symptoms you have:

Irritability or hypersensitivity. Do things that normally wouldn’t bother you (such as a child’s mistake, another driver cutting you off in traffic, or a coworker’s irritating habit) put you over the edge?

Restlessness. During waking hours are you aware of a vague sense that something isn’t quite right or an even stronger feeling of wanting to bolt from your life? When it’s time to rest, do you find yourself unable to settle down and sit quietly or fall asleep?

Compulsive overworking. Do you struggle with work boundaries? Do you check email late into the evening? Are you unable to unplug completely to go on vacation? Do you struggle to enter into solitude or spend uninterrupted time with family?…. Read this in full at
http://www.kyria.com/topics/spiritualformation/spiritualdisciplines/dangerouslytired.html

REPORT: 14.6 MILLION AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS AT RISK OF ‘FOOD INSECURITY’
More than 1 in 7 American households found it hard to put enough food on the table last year, according to figures released Nov. 16 by the US Department of Agriculture.

“The recession has made the problem of hunger worse, and it has also made it more visible,” said David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, a Christian anti-hunger group. “Increased public awareness and the administration’s commitment gives me hope.”

Households experiencing “food insecurity” jumped 3.5 percent in 2008, to 14.6 million, the largest one-year increase since the USDA began publishing data in 1995.

SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provided by the USDA for low-income families, distributed benefits to more than 36 million people in August 2009, a 24% increase over the previous year…. Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2009/11/report-146-million-american-ho.php

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH BREAKS NEW ADVERTISING: CONFIRMS ITS BELIEFS, WELCOMES ALL CHRISTIANS
The Episcopal Church’s core beliefs and practices, including those related to Christ, the Bible, women’s ordination and relationships, are featured in a new, national newspaper ad and on its website, according to Anne Rudig, Director of Communication. “We want to herald and share our welcoming message,” explained Rudig. “We are bringing our identity, our core beliefs, and our heritage to life in a manner that invites all to share. The ad, which include a broader list of beliefs, can be viewed at
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/adcollaborative.htm

PARENTING TIPS
• Motherhood — If it was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called labor!

• Shouting to make your children obey is like using the horn to steer your car, and you get about the same results.

• To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.

• The smartest advice on raising children is to enjoy them while they are still on your side.

• Raising a teenager is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.

• Parents: People who bare infants, bore teenagers, and board newlyweds.

• The joy of motherhood: the time when all the children are finally in bed.

• Life’s golden age is when the kids are too old to need baby-sitters and too young to borrow the family car.

• Grandparents are similar to a piece of string — handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of grandchildren.

• Adolescence is the age when children try to bring up their parents.

• The only people in this world who are always sure about the proper way to raise children are those who’ve never had any.

• Cleaning your house while your kids are at home is like trying to shovel the driveway during a snowstorm.

• There are only two things a child will share willingly, communicable diseases and his mother’s age.

• An alarm clock is a device for awakening people who don’t have small children.

• Kids really brighten a household; they never turn off any lights.

HOW CHURCHES REACH YOUNG ADULTS
In his new book Lost and Found (B&H), Ed Stetzer suggests nine traits of churches that are effectively reaching young adults. Here are five of them:

“Creating Deeper Community
Churches that are effective at attracting and developing young adults place a high value on moving people into a healthy small-group system. Young adults are trying to connect and will make a lasting connection wherever they can find belonging.

Making a Difference Through Service
Churches that are transforming young adults value leading people to serve through volunteerism. More than being pampered, young adults want to be part of something bigger than themselves and are looking to be part of an organization where they can make a difference through acts of service.

Experiencing Worship
Churches that are engaging young adults are providing worship environments that reflect their culture while also revering and revealing God. More than looking for a good performance, young adults desire to connect with a vertical experience of worship.

Leveraging Technology
Churches that are reaching young adults are willing to communicate in a language of technology familiar to young adults. Young adults sense that these churches are welcoming churches that value and understand them, engaging them where they are.

Building Cross-Generational Relationships
Churches that are linking young adults with older, mature adults are challenging young adults to move on to maturity through friendship, wisdom, and support. Young adults are drawn to churches that believe in them enough to challenge them.”
http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/2009/06/connector-churches.html

MOTHER OF 19-YEAR-OLD KILLED BY DRUNK DRIVER OFFERS DRIVER BIBLE AND PLACE IN HEAVEN
After describing in court how her 19-year-old son would want Kevin Babcock in heaven with him, Lynne Jacbos left a family Bible for the man who took her son’s life in a drunken driving crash.

“I couldn’t do that unless I knew Curtis would have wanted me to do that,” Jacobs said outside a Grand Haven courtroom after watching a judge sentence Babcock, 44, to 20 to 45 years in prison for killing Curtis Jacobs on June 27…. Read this in full at
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/11/mother_of_19-year-old_killed_b.html

MINISTRY HELPS WOUNDED PASTORS STAY IN THE PULPIT
The murder of 35-year-old Mashonda Griffin in her home last year was a blow to her fellow church members—especially when they learned one of the people charged in her death was a former parishioner whom Griffin had helped in the past.

Griffin’s death — an apparent botched robbery that landed the two suspects in prison with life terms — filled her pastor with anguish.

“It pretty much was the biggest thing I faced as a pastor,” the Rev. James Stokes said of the woman, who had been a member of Stokes’ Church of God in Christ congregation for 16 years.

Stokes said he would have wallowed in grief longer had it not been for an e-mail he received two days before Griffin’s funeral from John Smith, national and regional director of PastorCare, The National Clergy Support Network, who asked to meet with Stokes.

Smith fast-tracked his level of credibility with Stokes because of a similar tragedy the PastorCare leader faced when, as pastor of a church in Long Island, N.Y., a member of his congregation committed a brutal murder. Smith infused Stokes with some much-needed solace…. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/rnstext/ministry_helps_pastors_stay_in_the_pulpit/

AT 100, PASTOR SLOWS DOWN BUT KEEPS ON PREACHING
J.W. Archie stepped into the pulpit and did his usual duties as associate pastor for Mt. Hebron Missionary Baptist Church.

He introduced the walk-in song. He led the Scripture reading and the responsive reading, prayed, took up the benevolence offering and presided at the altar call.

Sunlight streamed through a tinted window and cast flickers of honey-colored light on Archie’s black suit jacket. He studied a piece of paper under the glow of a reading lamp over the lectern as he led the responsive reading.

It’s not bad for someone who just turned 100 years old. When he led his prayer, he spoke from the heart, in the studied rhythms of decades of practice.

“Thank the Lord for last night’s sleep, and thank the Lord for this morning’s rise,” he said. “Bring home wandering minds and scattering thoughts. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our savior. Amen. Thank God.”

The dark wood-paneled walls of Mt. Hebron blend into the stained-wood pews and the brown curtain hiding the baptistery. Two singers and an organist belted out a gospel song, “You Brought Me From a Mighty Long Way.”

Then Archie yielded the pulpit to the pastor, Thomas Smith…. Read this in full at
http://www.biblicalrecorder.org/post/At-100-pastor-slows-down-but-keeps-on-preaching.aspx

MEN’S GENES ‘MAY LIMIT LIFESPAN’
Men carry the seeds of their own destruction in the genes present in their sperm, research suggests. Scientists working on mice have highlighted a specific gene that, although carried by both sexes, appears to be active only in males. They believe it allows males to grow bigger bodies — but at the expense of their longevity. The study, by Tokyo University of Agriculture, appears in the journal Human Reproduction…. Read this in full at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8390055.stm

TUMULTUOUS TIMES FUEL END-TIMES PREPARATIONS
For years, Ken Uptegrove believed another Great Depression was at hand. A computer professional in Springdale, Ark., Uptegrove started a garden and researched ways to live more simply. He studied the lives of early Christians and launched a ministry and Web site (www.arkhaven.org) where he and his wife now share their beliefs with some 100 visitors a day.

Ideally, one day they’ll move to a remote area with other self-sufficient Christians where they can raise their own food and be ready should things get any worse.

They do not call themselves survivalists per se, but inherent in their way of life is the Christian ideal of neighborliness, he says. Surviving is not about saving yourself alone, but about coming through disaster with enough strength to help your neighbors, too.

“We are not militia. We are not an armed camp. We simply describe ourselves as first-century Christians,” said Uptegrove, 74. “It is always just simply living the Christian community lifestyle and being ready for (Jesus’) return as if it will happen tomorrow, but at the same time being ready to live our life and being ready for a full life.”

In the wake of 9/11, war, Hurricane Katrina, the worst recession in a generation and countless other woes, preparation and survivalism are no longer fringe activities. In fact, for some Christians, current events yield signs of the end times and Jesus’ Second Coming…. Read this in full at
http://www.reporternews.com/news/2009/nov/19/endprep/

CONSIDER
“The Christian has to live in the world, but he must draw all his resources from outside of the world.”
Donald Barnhouse

VERSE TO PONDER
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”
Hebrews 1:1-2

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: ADVENT GLORY
Words & Music: J. Harker (1880-?)

The day is fast approaching when the Savior shall appear,
And every eye His glory shall behold;
The tokens of His coming fill the loyal heart with cheer
Though strife abounds and love is waxing cold.

Refrain
We’ll see Him as He is,
And the brightness of His glory we shall share;
We’ll see Him as He is,
And the likeness of His image we shall bear.

In all His Father’s glory, clothed in majesty unveiled,
With myriads of the shining angel band,
The King descends triumphant in Whose might we have prevailed,
And all the ransomed rise at His command.
Refrain

Oh, may we all as sons of light be watching unto prayer,
For surely our redemption draweth nigh;
With holy zeal and patient faith, let every soul prepare
To join the advent chorus in the sky.
Refrain

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

ON PRAYER
Faith is to the soul what life is to the body. Prayer is to faith what breath is to the body. How a person can live and not breathe is past my comprehension, and how a person can believe and not pray is past my comprehension too.”
J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), A Call to Prayer

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 the church 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.

Book your next vacation with us!
Http://www.ChristianConnectionTravel.com

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

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

Let me show you how to earn money as you travel!
http://www.earnGlobalVacations.com/
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

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

The Christ of Christmas
http://www.thechristofchristmas.com/

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.)

It’s hard to stumble when you’re down on your knees.
Min. 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 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 at 6459 S. Campbell Ave. Chicago, IL 60629.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/

———-

Subscribe!
Subscribe to CONNECTIONS here

Get Archives of all past issues here:
http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/connections/archives_all.html

Check out my blog

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • Jac  On December 31, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Nice site – Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous new year !

  • Frank Coleman  On December 31, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks for the feedback.
    Blessings to you in this coming year and beyond.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: