CONNECTIONS – 04/11/10

For week of April 11, 2010
Issue 299

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.

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As it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9

CONSIDER
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I… I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost

INTERNET P*RN A WIDE-RANGING PROBLEM, EVEN IN THE CHURCH
Long before the surgeon general issued his 1964 report showing the devastating harm of smoking, much of the nation viewed cigarettes as fun and harmless, even cool.

A new report says much of America today has a similar naive attitude toward Internet p*rnography and that it needs to wake up and see porn’s destructive impact not only on individuals but also marriages, children and society in general — before it’s too late.

The 53-page report, called simply, “The Social Costs of P*rnography,” was released by The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., and was signed by more than 50 scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds: conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, atheists and Christians.

Gone are the days, the report notes, when p*rn was the sole domain of shady nightclubs, dark alleys and adult theaters. Today, p*rn is easily accessible and affordable, and — with most Americans having a computer — its users can remain largely anonymous.

“[A]lthough p*rnography has existed for millennia, never has it been as widely available or used as it has been in recent years,” the report says. “… There is evidence that more people — children, adolescents, and adults — are consuming pornography — sporadically, inadvertently, or chronically — than ever before.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32644

Help needed to fight p*rn’s harmful impact”
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32645

Reliance on God leads to healing from p*rn”
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32646

P*rn & cell phones: protecting your kids”
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32647

THE RIGHT CREDENTIALS
At one point, Gideon had rallied 32,000 men to fight with him against the Midianites. But God told him, in effect, ‘You have too many men for me to deliver the Midianites into their hands. Israel would only take the credit away from me, saying, “My own hand has delivered me.”’ So God pared them back to a mere 300 men, less than 1% of the original army! The reason Gideon succeeded was not because of who he was, but because of who was on his side.

If you feel that you do not have the right credentials to do what God has asked of you, you are probably right. But if God has called your name, he will be with you. He may even send an angel to give you a vision for who you really are: a mighty warrior determined to do God’s will, to take great risks, and to make the necessary sacrifices in his service.

Lord, you know how weak I really am. I ask you to make my weakness raw material for your grace. Your power is made perfect in weakness such as mine. Thank you that you choose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Do great things in me, and then take your glory, Lord.”
Ann Spangler, Into the Word

MISGUIDED CHRISTIAN OUTRAGE
by Russell Moore
Christians mean well. They don’t want to see the gospel disrespected. But there’s something parabolic here, I think. It’s the same sort of thing we see when Stephen Colbert interviews a US Congressman who wants to legislate the Ten Commandments in federal courthouses but can’t name them. We’d almost rather have the affirmation than the revelation.

Why are we so desperate to see “God” affirmed by the outside culture, even when the “God” they’re talking about more closely resembles Zeus (or, as in this case, Lucifer) than Yahweh? When we reach this point of perpetual outrage, are we closer to identity politics than gospel proclamation? I’m afraid so.

Could it be that the problem is we really want the reassurance that we’re “normal”? We’d like a shout-out in our pop culture and our political speeches to signify that we’re acceptable, that Christianity isn’t really all that freakish. But, if that happens, apart from submission to the Cross, is it really Christianity anymore (Jas. 4:4).

What if, instead, we loved the world the way God does (Jn. 3:16), and not the way the satanic powers ask us to? What if we loved the world through verbal proclamation and self-sacrificial giving, not by seeking product placement for the Trinity? Rather than expecting our politicians and musicians and actors to placate us with platitudes to some generic god, let’s work with them where we can on “doing good to all people” (Gal. 6:10). Let’s proclaim the God of a crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus. And let’s teach our kids and our converts the actual content of the biblical revelation.

That project is more difficult than signing Facebook petitions. But it’s more Christian than pouting when our culture mavens misspell “Elohim” on the golden calves we’ve asked them to make for us.
http://theresurgence.com/misguided_christian_outrage

‘INTERNET MONK’ DIES
Michael Spencer, who also went by iMonk or Internet Monk, died April 5, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. Christianity Today’s Mark Galli and Spencer discussed “the coming evangelical collapse” last year. Here’s a portion of that article:

The Internet is abuzz with the latest prognostications about “the coming evangelical collapse.” This is the substance of three blog posts over at Internet Monk (http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/the-original-coming-evangelical-collapse-posts) (a.k.a. Michael Spencer), who predicts said collapse in ten years. When his thoughts got picked up and condensed by the Christian Science Monitor and then the Drudge Report — well, you can just imagine the electronic excitement.

The title of Spencer’s posts spoils the ending; still, many of the details are interesting. I’ve made many of the same observations in this column. For example, Spencer writes, “Expect evangelicalism as a whole to look more and more like the pragmatic, therapeutic, church-growth-oriented megachurches that have defined success. The determination to follow in the methodological steps of numerically successful churches will be greater than ever. The result will be, in the main, a departure from doctrine to more and more emphasis on relevance, motivation and personal success.” My only caveat here is to wonder if this is a future or present reality.

Some predictions I warm up to because of my own biases, but in the end, they don’t seem to be founded on anything substantive. For example, “Two of the beneficiaries of the coming evangelical collapse will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been steadily entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue.” Spencer might have added Anglicanism as a beneficiary. As an Anglican, I wish it were true. But in my experience, the number of evangelicals entering these communions is not as great as those leaving these communions for evangelical faith. I don’t know of any studies that have, or even can, measure this phenomenon accurately. So we might have to simply debate our impressions…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/marchweb-only/110-31.0.html

2010 NBA PLAYOFFS
The 2010 NBA Playoffs is the postseason for the National Basketball Association’s 2009–10 season. The playoffs start on April 17, 2010 with ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV broadcasting the games in the US.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_NBA_Playoffs

DON MEYER RECEIVES 2010 JOHN WOODEN KEYS TO LIFE AWARD
Recently retired Northern State Coach Don Meyer was presented with the 2010 John Wooden Keys to Life Award April 3 for his “exceptional moral character, integrity, and faith.”

Established by Athletes in Action and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 1998, the Keys to Life Award honors athletes who model the characteristics of UCLA Men’s Basketball coaching legend John Wooden, whose legacy reflects the life-long pursuit of a creed his father gave him at age 12, entitled “Keys to Life.”

Meyer, the all-time leader in coaching wins in NCAA men’s basketball history, was presented with this year’s award during the Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast, which today stands as one of the premier events during the NCAA Final Four weekend…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100405/don-meyer-receives-2010-john-wooden-keys-to-life-award/index.html

MORE THAN 1,200 THOMAS NELSON TITLES AND MORE THAN 1,000 ZONDERVAN TITLES NOW AVAILABLE ON THE APPLE iPAD
Thomas Nelson has entered into an agreement with Apple® to sell its ebooks through Apple’s new iBookstore. With the launch of iBookstore, iPad customers can download the free iBooks app and begin to browse, buy, and read more than 1,200 titles from Thomas Nelson.

Michael Hyatt, Thomas Nelson CEO, commented, “We are extremely pleased that Thomas Nelson has the largest collection of inspirational titles available on such a revolutionary reading device.”

Also, Zondervan will have more than 1,000 titles available for download from all product groups and plans to release all its future ebooks in an iPad version, working to release more than 150 additional books in the next three months.

To celebrate, Zondervan is launching a social media campaign giving away 50 $10 iTunes gift cards for use in the iBookstore through Twitter and Facebook.
http://www.cbanews.org/article.php?id=1425

ABUNDANCE AND CHOICE
by Martin E. Marty
The topic: Choice in Religion. It takes off from Evan Goldstein’s long article “To Choose or Not to Choose” in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which I commend to you, because it deals with unfinished business on the “choice” front.

Goldstein portrays Sikh-nurtured, Columbia psychology professor Sheena Iyengar, who, incidentally, is blind, but who has seen something that many overlooked and may still question. Her thesis: While we cherish choice in supermarkets, commodities in general, and even in religious and spiritual life, an abundance of options does not necessarily yield happiness. “In 1949 a typical American supermarket carried 3,750 items. Today that number is close to 45,000.” Yet Americans are grumpy. Illustrations of her thesis are abundant in Goldstein’s article, so I had to “choose” which to lift. I passed over many more, unhappily, to get to the religious point, which is relevant here…. Read this in full at
http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/publications/sightings/archive_2010/0405.shtml

GOING UNDERCOVER AMONG EVANGELICALS
The divide between the religious and nonreligious is a wide one — even more so in America, where Christianity and politics are so often intertwined. Atheist Gina Welch wanted to bridge that gap. So she went undercover for two years, joining a megachurch and revealing her nonbeliever status to no one. She eventually became a true part of the community, even going on a mission trip with people she now considers friends. Welch details her journey in a new book, In the Land of Believers: An Outsider’s Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church. She talked with TIME about pastor Jerry Falwell and why even atheists can respect Christian evangelism.

Q: Were you surprised at how you came to be part of the evangelical world?
A: It’s very easy to roll your eyes at the whole culture if you don’t have any stake in anyone participating in it. Once I developed friendships with people whom I cared about, it was easier for me to see the appeal. It’s no accident that evangelical Christianity is as popular as it is. I even came to enjoy listening to sermons from Jerry Falwell, whose politics I was [initially] allergic to. The emotional, intoxicating experience of being at church and hearing that music, and the whole structure of a Sunday service, was moving to me. And I don’t believe in God.

Q: Did you have any misconceptions that got reversed?
A: Evangelism seemed invasive to me. I thought of it as an imperialistic arrogance — that they wanted to overpower people. My experience with evangelism was something very different. They felt that they could do something about the eternal suffering of others. I came to see evangelism instead as a kind of empathy. That made me feel like there was something in it I could respect…. Read this interview in full at
http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1977701,00.html

DO NOT QUENCH THE SPIRIT
In the flow of the Spirit, it actually requires more mental gymnastics to walk down the wrong path than to walk down the right one. We disguise most of these gymnastics from ourselves, but they are there all the same. The first thing we must do if we are going to give in to temptation is wrapped up in the single word quench.

God will never lead us to manage a desire in a sinful way. If I want to walk down the wrong road, I must begin by silencing God’s divine voice within me. I must be careful not to pray about this desire with a submitted spirit. I must make sure I don’t talk about this desire with wise friends who will hold me accountable. I must make sure I don’t look carefully at passages of Scripture on the subject and reflect on them. I must do all these things without recognizing I am doing them. I must keep myself in a state of spiritual and mental vagueness where God is concerned.

Do not quench the Spirit,” Paul says. Any time I have a desire, the Spirit will prompt me to set it before God and ask the question, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do with this?’ Or I can simply ask regarding any course of behavior, ‘If I walk down this road, where will it lead in the long run — toward or away from the me I want to be?’
John Ortberg, The Me I Want To Be

7 WAYS TO LIVE OUT RESURRECTION DAY EVERY DAY
by Laura MacCorkle
According to the calendar, Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday) happens just once a year. But it’s something we would do well in observing every day of our lives.

The culmination of Holy Week, Resurrection Day unites believers the world over, in celebration of a risen Christ who died for our sins and triumphed over death. For this we rejoice, because we have a hope. We have a future. And we will live with our Lord for eternity. So why then, during the other 364 days, don’t we live like we know and believe this with our whole hearts?

With 1 Corinthians 15:56-58 as our guide, we can learn to live out every day in light of Resurrection Day. Here are seven ways to get started:
* Recognize your sin for what it is.
* Keep a proper perspective of your state.
* Give thanks where it is due … to God!
* Worship the One who saved you.
* Keep your focus and don’t waiver.
* Put God first and give him your all.
* Be heavenly minded while on earth.
…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Home/Christian%20Living%20Features/11570681/

LILY FARMERS RACE THE CLOCK TOWARD EASTER
In the year 2011, Easter Sunday falls on April 24. To the untrained eye, the graceful lilies that arrive on church altars each year on Easter Sunday are a familiar symbol of resurrection and renewal. Like poinsettias on Christmas, it just wouldn’t be Easter without them.

But for the people who get them there — on a date that shifts from year to year — getting the trumpet-shaped flowers to bloom on cue takes months of just-right gardening, mathematical deduction and extreme diligence.

“It is by far the most complicated, single thing that happens in the floricultural industry,” said William B. Miller, professor of horticulture at Cornell University.

“Valentine’s Day — same day every year. Christmas Day — same day every year. No problem. … It’s extremely complicated and Easter lily growers really do have to keep very close track of this stuff. They have to very much manage their crop.”

Researchers like Miller have drawn up schedules for greenhouses with how-to instructions specific to the date Easter arrives in a given year, chronicling the steps once lily bulbs arrive in mid-October from bulb growers on the West Coast.

Week by week, the guidelines suggest the exact period for cooling the bulbs (six weeks), best greenhouse temperatures (somewhere in the 60s) and how long the buds should be at various points in the growing process.

Temperature is the secret to getting an Easter lily to bloom on time, said Norman White, owner of White’s Nursery and Greenhouses in Chesapeake, Va., who has grown lilies for about 40 years…. Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2010/04/lily-farmers-race-the-clock-to.php

HOBBY LOBBY BUYS ADS NATIONWIDE TO EXPLAIN EASTER
A nationwide business chain bought full-page ads in newspapers across the United States to explain the true meaning of Easter. Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts store with 435 locations in 35 states, has taken out full-page ads in every city that the company has a store in. The Christian-owned company estimates it has bought about 300 ads that appeared in newspapers Easter Sunday nationwide.

We just need people to know what this season is about,” said David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, in an interview with American Family Association. “It is about the death and resurrection of Christ and we just feel we need to proclaim that and not lose this season to the Easter bunnies.”

Hobby Lobby has been placing full-page ads in newspapers nationwide for Easter and Christmas since 1997…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100404/hobby-lobby-buys-ads-nationwide-to-explain-easter/index.html

NATIONAL BIBLE MUSEUM EYES DALLAS AS POTENTIAL HOME
A yet-to-be-opened Bible museum that has already acquired rare artifacts is considering making Dallas its home.

Johnny Shipman, the National Bible Museum’s chief executive officer, said the group is currently negotiating to buy a site in Dallas but is still open to other locations. Shipman told The Dallas Morning News that his group is looking for a location near downtown that is at least 300,000 square feet with a large parking space.

The group did not divulge details on what other cities it was considering for the museum. Wherever its location, the museum will be home to rare Bibles and manuscripts obtained by the Oklahoma-based national arts and crafts chain, Hobby Lobby.

Christian businessman Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, said his family agreed about four years ago to help with the Bible Museum and started acquiring artifacts about a year ago…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100402/national-bible-museum-eyes-dallas-as-potential-site/index.html

TOP 10 SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT THE WORLD’S OLDEST BIBLE
On July 6, 2009, the world’s oldest Bible went digital. The 4th century Codex Sinaiticus manuscript (“the Sinai Book”) is one of the most important texts in Christianity, dating to the time of Constantine the Great. Thanks to the Codex Sinaiticus Project, you can now see and read its raw animal-hide pages online. The photographs of the book’s pages show not just the written text — an English translation accompanies the original Greek — but also skeletal imprints, insect bites, scar tissue, and spilled candle wax. At nearly 800 pages, Sinaiticus is the largest edition of an ancient manuscript ever to hit the Web…. Read this in full at http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1910141_1910142,00.html

IS THE MEANING OF EASTER BEING LOST?
Just as Christmas for many has become less about the miracle of the virgin birth, Easter may be losing its connection to the resurrection.

Fewer than half of Americans mentioned Jesus’ death and resurrection when asked about the significance of Easter, according to a survey released last month by Christian researchers the Barna Group.

At the same time, the National Retail Federation reported prior to Easter that Americans would spend more than $13 billion on the holiday for food, clothes, candy, and greeting cards.

Although the holiday is meant to be the central celebration of the church, disassociating Easter from the biblical narrative of the resurrection or seeing it in symbolic terms makes Christianity “safer” for con-temporary churchgoers, some local Christian leaders say.

Jesus is very challenging. To encounter him is existentially challenging. It can be scary and uncomfortable,” said Jeremy Wilkins, assistant professor of systematic theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. “There is a strong pressure in our culture to reinterpret (the resurrection) or explain it or not to deal with it as the mighty and miraculous thing that it was.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/6942155.html

OBAMA BARES HIS SOUL AT EASTER EVENT
President Obama bared his soul before a cross section of Christian leaders at a White House Easter breakfast on April 6, where he spoke publicly of his faith in redemption through Jesus in his most personal terms since becoming president.

Addressing his “brothers and sisters in Christ” among the nearly 90 pastors, community activists, and bishops in attendance, Obama spoke of “our risen savior” and the inspiration he takes from Christ’s resurrection.

We are awed by the grace he showed even to those who would have killed him,” Obama said, pausing occasionally to glance at written notes. “We are thankful for the sacrifice he gave for the sins of humanity. And we glory in the promise of redemption in the resurrection.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/rnstext/obama_bares_his_soul_at_easter_event/

THE RELIGION BEAT: FRESH INSIGHTS INTO TIMELESS TOPICS
by Anders Gyllenhaal
As much of the world stepped away from the workplace for Holy Week and Passover, Miami Herald religion writer Jaweed Kaleem has been at his busiest.

It began with his fascinating piece on the luxury Seders flourishing across South Florida. It ended with a front-page story on how the earthquake is bringing a kind of resurgence to South Florida’s largest Haitian Catholic church.

In between, he has done dozens of interviews to deliver on one of the trickiest assignments on the religion beat: offering a fresh view on holidays that are by nature unchanging, built around traditions that date back thousands of years.

Easter Sunday is a good time to recognize the unique role a religion writer plays at the paper. With much of the news focused on the fleeting events of the day, this is a beat that delves into our deepest topics.

You know how you don’t talk about religion or politics at the dinner table?” said Jaweed, whom everyone calls JD. “For a religion writer, your job is to ask about anything that you want to know. And people open up, about how they feel about their religion, about their churches and temples. It gets very personal.”

When a string of churches and schools in the Miami Archdiocese closed this year, JD was swamped with testimonials on those institutions. “I was getting letters and phone calls from people. They said, ‘This is more than a church. This is my life,’” he said.

The religion reporter’s role is to keep up with the news at the same time as he watches the hidden currents that tend to carry the most interesting stories…. Read this in full at
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/04/1561283/the-religion-beat-fresh-insights.html

THE MONASTIC LIFE
Monasteries stand in contrast to the prevailing culture. They value community over competition, service over self-interest, and in a world of Internet, cell phones, and 24-hour talk, they stress listening and silence. It’s a way of life. It’s an absence of noise and clutter to be in the presence of God. Monastic life is a life of living together in prayer and community. View this video report at
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/march-12-2010/the-monastic-life/5849/

DOCUMENTARY MAKERS WARN VIEWERS TO ‘BEWARE OF CHRISTIANS’
Will Bakke, director and executive producer of Beware of Christians, recognizes the provocative title of his new documentary will raise some eyebrows. He hopes it also will raise consciousness about what radical commitment to Christ really means.

The idea is to beware of Christians like us who never really have known what it means to follow Christ,” said Bakke, a senior film major at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

In Beware of Christians, the story centers primarily on self-discovery — the story of four college guys who grew up in Texas seeking answers to their own questions about what being a Christian means.

In the process, the four students — one from Baylor, two from Texas A&M University and one from Georgetown University in Washington — candidly explore how a commitment to Christ affects attitudes about matters such as sex, alcohol, materialism, and media.

To “get beyond churchy answers” and deal with those issues honestly, Bakke believed he and his friends needed a temporary escape from the comfortable cultural Christianity of Bible Belt America…. Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5026/53/
See http://bewareofchristians.com/

FILM PROBES AMERICANS’ IMAGES OF GOD
On the big screen of the movies, God has been played by everyone from George Burns (“Oh, God!”) to Alanis Morissette (“Dogma”) to Morgan Freeman (“Bruce Almighty”).

On the small screen of people’s imaginations, God frequently looks like an old man in the clouds, like something out of “The Simpsons.” Or Kenny Rogers. Or more ambiguous terms like creator, energy, love or nature.

That’s how some Americans described their image of God in a small independent documentary titled “God in the Box.”

“I really wanted to be able to look behind people’s eyes and see what God looks like to them and what God means to them,” said filmmaker Nathan Lang. “They’re not leaving novels about their feelings, they’re leaving just snapshots.”

Lang’s four-man crew traveled across the country for three years with a phone-booth-sized black box that they set up on street corners. The hope was that people would feel comfortable enough in the anonymity of the box to share their thoughts and visions of God.

The documentary, still in the final editing stage, hasn’t been publicly released, but Lang hopes to take the film on the film festival circuit. Until then, he’s showing it at synagogues, churches, mosques, and community centers and anywhere people want to see it…. Read this in full at
http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=15835
See the trailer at

http://www.godinthebox.com/

ASTEROIDS, STARS, AND THE LOVE OF GOD: TWO ASTRONOMERS AND THEIR FAITH
The radio program Speaking of Faith explores life, faith, and the universe with two astronomers who study the composition of meteorites and the life and death of stars. Brother Guy Consolmagno is curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory. Father George Coyne is director emeritus and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. They are both Jesuits, and both have asteroids named after them…. Read this in full at
http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2010/asteroids/

IRAQI CHRISTIANS UNDER FIRE
The campaign of violence against Christians is one of the most under-reported stories of Iraq since the invasion of 2003. And it could change the country’s character in a fundamental way; by the time the dust finally settles on the chaotic current chapter of Iraq’s history, the Christian community may have disappeared altogether – after 2,000 years as a significant presence…. Read this in full at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7550048/Iraqi-Christians-under-fire.html

VERSE TO PONDER
“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psalm 18:1-2

CONSIDER
Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has plenty, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
Charles Dickens

PASTOR CALLS CHRISTIAN ATHEISTS TO SHED HYPOCRISY
Pastor Craig Groeschel is a recovering Christian Atheist. He may have called himself a Christian all his life, but he didn’t always live as if God existed. It’s a struggle he’s had both as a layman and as a pastor (of one of the fastest growing and largest churches in the country). And it’s a struggle he wants to help millions of so-called Christians to overcome.

Christian Atheists are everywhere, Groeschel, who leads LifeChurch.tv, writes in his newly released book, The Christian Atheist. They attend church and seminaries and some even read their Bibles everyday. “Many of us look the part,” the Edmond, Okla., pastor says. “Or we think we’re Christian because, you know, it’s not like we’re Buddhists. We believe in God, but our lives don’t reflect who he really is.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100407/pastor-calls-christian-atheists-to-shed-hypocrisy/index.html

INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY GETS TO THE HEART OF MILITARY CHAPLAINS
Are government rules against proselytizing preventing military chaplains from praying in accordance with their faiths? Or are chaplains violating the Constitution, viewing troops as “low-hanging fruit,” ripe for conversion? A new documentary, “Chaplains Under Fire” (http://www.chaplainsunderfire.com) goes behind the contradictory headlines to the heart of what chaplains do and the church-state tensions they face.

Filmmakers Lee Lawrence and Terry Nickelson spent three months with military units in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We selected stories illustrating the stresses that troops experience,” Mr. Nickelson says, “from the boredom of routine duties to the rush of night patrols, and the guilt-laced grief over losing a buddy in combat or to suicide.”

They also follow chaplains as they minister to wounded troops from battlefield medevacs to hospitals in theater, Germany, and the U.S.; they visit families, including chaplains’ families, to record the strains they cope with during their spouses’ deployment. “And don’t forget the toll chaplains’ work takes on the chaplains themselves,” Ms Lawrence says…. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/pressreleases/independent_documentary_gets_to_the_heart_of_military_chaplains/

WHERE TO WORSHIP? CHURCH REVIEWS GO ONLINE
As a military wife, Melissa Hager has to find a new church every time her husband is reassigned. While she’s skilled at unpacking boxes, the church quest isn’t as easy.

For people settling into a new community, reading online church reviews can make the transition a little less stressful.

“When you move to a town, you have a whole list — new pediatrician, new dentist, new play group, new friends, new hairstylist, and new church is on that list,” says Hager. “And if I can get some insight on that online, it makes my life easier.”

A few months ago, Hager and her family moved to a suburb of Tucson, Ariz. “We’re churchgoers. That gives us an instant built-in family when we are, in actuality, strangers in this new town,” Hager says.

Instead of relying on trial and error, Hager visited a website called Churchrater.com. Co-founder Tyler Mahoney wanted to create a site that made choosing a church less overwhelming. But he needed to set a few ground rules…. Read this in full at
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125394718&ft=1&f=1016

DAILY GRIND
Integrity, whether at work or at home, is not the sort of thing you work on every now and then. You don’t set aside one day a month to work on your integrity much like you might pay your bills. It’s something we have to address almost 24/7 because of the insidious nature of dishonesty, which always presents us with small, seemingly insignificant openings. Few people actually decide to outright lie or cheat; rather, they find themselves taking shortcuts out of convenience. I read somewhere that according to a company that conducted 3.8 million background checks on people applying for jobs, more than half lied on their resumes.4 These aren’t horrible people or chronic liars but ordinary citizens like you and me who think those little white lies are okay and will never be caught anyway. Unfortunately, even if they are never caught, they erode our standards and make it easier to make duplicity the norm.

In 1912, Leon Leonwood Bean started a mail order business in Greenwood, Maine, by selling a hunting boot with a money-back guarantee. However, defects in the design led to 90 percent of them being returned. Making good on the guarantee could ruin his fledgling business, but Leon kept his word, corrected the design, and continued selling the boots. L.L. Bean is now one of the largest mail-order companies in the United States, in large part because it has continued the tradition of treating its customers with integrity.

Being a man of your word is not always easy, and like Leon Bean, you will make mistakes along the way. But if you treat your wife and loved ones the way Mr. Bean treated his customers, you will enjoy a long and fruitful relationship with them as they realize that you love them enough.”
Louis Upkins Jr., Treat Me Like a Customer

BENDING YOGA TO FIT THEIR WORSHIP NEEDS
Christian pop music played quietly in the background as instructor Bryan Brock led a recent yoga class at the nondenominational Church at Rocky Peak in Chatsworth.

Incorporating prayer and readings from the Bible, Brock urged his class of about 20 students to find strength in their connection to their creator through yoga’s deep, controlled breathing. “The goal of Christian yoga is to open ourselves up to God,” he said. “It allows us to blur the line between the physical and the spiritual.”

The instructor then recited the Lord’s Prayer while his students moved slowly through a series of postures known as the sun salutation.

Such hybrid classes, which combine yoga practice with elements of Christianity or Judaism, appear to be growing in popularity across Southern California and elsewhere…. Read this in full at
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-beliefs-yoga5-2010apr05,0,1068344,full.story

SOME CHRISTIANS SUSPICIOUS OF GOING GREEN
For some evangelicals, the reasons to be suspicious of environmentalism are complex. One appears to be that environmentalism can be perceived as idolatry because it suggests worshiping creation rather than its creator. Other reasons appear to center on politics and a distrust of science…. Read this in full at
http://www.gazette.com/articles/going-96438-green-creation.html

VATICAN POSTS 142 YEARS OF OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS ONLINE
The Vatican has posted online 142 years of documents, from Pope Pius IX to Benedict XVI, including unofficial texts relating to the period during the Second World War.

The official site of the Holy See (http://www.vatican.va) is offering access to the documents from the resource library, including papers of popes and of the Roman Curia, from 1865 until 2007.

Beginning with Pius IX, who served for almost 32 years in the 19th century, the official Vatican documents had been published on what are known as “Acta Sanctae Sedis” (Acts of the Holy See)…. Read this in full at
http://ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=15875

CHRISTIAN RADIO STATION ON AIR IN IRAQ
The first Christian radio station broadcasting hymns and Bible readings went on the air in the southern Iraqi province of Basra, city officials said. The minority Christian community in Iraq has faced violent suppression in the past, with much of the population displaced by violence, mostly in the north.

Saad Matti Petros, who leads the committee for minority affairs on the Basra city council, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Iraqi bureau that the station does not have a certain ideology, adding the director of the station signed a statement pledging to respect other religions.

The Voice of the New Testament went on air in Basra province from offices at the Basra National Evangelical Church. Ahmad al-Sulayti, the deputy head of the Basra city council, said city leaders gave the station immediate permission to start broadcasting. “We consider this a big achievement in the new Iraq,” he said. “It proves there is an opening to all the other cultures” in the country.
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2010/04/07/Christian-radio-station-on-air-in-Iraq/UPI-40731270659022/

PREPARE A HEART-ATTACK/HEALTH “EMERGENCY KIT”
Special from Bottom Line/Retirement
What it should contain: A bottle of uncoated aspirin… a contact list of your physicians and key family members and friends as well as the hospital to go to in an emergency… a list of medications you are currently taking… notes on any allergies or adverse reactions to medications… medical-insurance plan information and the procedures to follow for using your hospital of choice. Make sure your family members know where you keep the “kit” in the event that they need it in an emergency when you are disabled.
http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/article.html?article_id=46715

SLEEP APNEA BOOSTS STROKE RISK, ESPECIALLY FOR MEN
Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing stops intermittently during sleep — is associated with an increased risk of stroke in middle-aged or older Americans, especially in men, according to a new study out of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 18 million people in the US suffer from sleep apnea and many of them don’t know it.

Researchers compiled data from the famous Sleep Heart Health Study and looked at stroke risk in 5,422 participants aged 40 years and older without a history of stroke. At the start of the study, participants performed a standard at-home sleep test that determined whether they had sleep apnea and, if so, the severity of the sleep apnea. Participants were followed for an average of nine years. During that period, a total of 193 participants had a stroke — 85 men (of 2,462 men enrolled) and 108 women (out of 2,960 enrolled)…. Read this in full at
http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/08/sleep-apnea-boosts-stroke-risk/

CONSIDER
Art — if it is to be reckoned as one of the great values of life — must teach men humility, tolerance, wisdom, and magnanimity. The value of art is not beauty, but right action.”
W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

VERSE TO PONDER
“Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”
Psalm 97:10

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: CHRIST IS RISEN! HALLELUJAH!
Words: John S. B. Monsell, 1863
Music: Frederick Maker, 1881

Christ is risen! Hallelujah!
Risen our victorious Head!
Sing His praises! Hallelujah!
Christ is risen from the dead!
Gratefully our hearts adore Him,
As His light once more appears,
Bowing down in joy before Him,
Rising up from grief and tears,
Christ is risen! Hallelujah!
Risen our victorious Head!
Sing His praises! Hallelujah!
Christ is risen from the dead!

Christ is risen! all the sadness
Of His earthly life is o’er,
Through the open gates of gladness
He returns to life once more;
Death and hell before Him bending,
He doth rise, the Victor now,
Angels on His steps attending,
Glory round His wounded brow.
Christ is risen! all the sadness
Of His earthly life is o’er,
Through the open gates of gladness
He returns to life once more.

Christ is risen! henceforth never
Death or hell shall us enthrall;
We are Christ’s, in Him forever
We have triumphed over all;
All the doubting and dejection
Of our trembling hearts have ceased,
Tis His day of resurrection!
Let us rise and keep the feast.
Christ is risen! henceforth never
Death or hell shall us enthrall;
We are Christ’s, in Him forever
We have triumphed over all.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/c/i/cirhallj.htm

ON PRAYER
When at night you cannot sleep, talk to the Shepherd and stop counting sheep.”
Author Unknown

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.

Magician showing laser magic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2U1ZsVkhiA

Monthly series of satellite photos of Earth
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/series/satelliteeye

Earthquake map
http://www.niceone.org/lab/quakes/

Paris panorama
http://www.gillesvidal.com/blogpano/paris.htm

100 Epic images from the Hubble space telescope
http://coolvibe.com/2009/100-epic-images-from-hubble-space-telescope/

Stunning landscape photo
http://img15.nnm.ru/7/e/3/b/8/91c3663a6f16dca8026241512ff.jpg

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

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

One nice thing about egotists is that they don’t talk about other people.
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 in Chicago, IL.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/

———-

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

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Comments

  • Hosea Mcclendon  On July 11, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Hi! we question so what’s this particular theme you using the blog? an individual.

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