CONNECTIONS – 05/09/10

For week of May 9, 2010
Issue 303

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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Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said.”
Amos 5:14

CONSIDER
The lure of quantity is the most dangerous of all.”
Simone Weil, French philosopher and social activist

AMERICANS FEEL CONNECTED TO JESUS
In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and texting, many Americans feel more connected to people than ever, but a new national survey by The Barna Group shows that Americans are not just connected to each other. One of the dominant connections in people’s lives is with Jesus Christ. In fact, more people claim to be closely connected to Jesus Christ than have a Facebook page or Twitter account.

The Barna study, conducted among a random sample of 1,002 U.S. adults, discovered that two out of every three adults (67%) claimed to have a “personal relationship” with Jesus that is currently active and that influences their life.

While a majority of most demographic segments said they had such an active and personal relationship with Jesus, some segments were more likely than others to claim such a connection. For instance, women (72%) were more likely than men (62%) to do so. Protestants were more likely than Catholics to cite such a relationship (82% versus 72%). People who describe themselves as mostly conservative on social and political matters were far more likely than those who see themselves as liberal on such issues to connect with Jesus (79% compared to 48%). And one of the most instructive findings was that the younger a person was, the less likely they were to claim to have an active and influential bond with Jesus. Specifically, while 72% of adults 65 or older and 70% of Boomers (i.e., ages 46 to 64) had such a relationship in place, 65% of Busters (i.e., ages 27 to 45) and only 52% of Mosaics (ages 18 to 26) did, as well.

For any relationship to be meaningful there must be effective two-way communication. While an overwhelming majority of Americans claim to pray during a typical week (more than 80%), the new Barna study points out that a majority also believes that Jesus speaks back to them. Overall, 38% said they are “completely certain” that Jesus speaks to them in ways that are personal and relevant to their circumstances. An additional 21% said they are “somewhat certain” that He does so, while 10% contend that Jesus speaks to them but they were not as sure about that communication. Eight percent did not know if Jesus Christ speaks to them.

In total, less than one-quarter of all adults (23%) stated that Jesus does not speak to them. Those people were most likely to be atheists and agnostics; under the age of 30; residents of the western or northeastern states; Asian-Americans; and those who describe themselves as mostly liberal on social and political matters…. Read this in full at
http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/364-americans-feel-connected-to-jesus

LIBERTY U. BACKS SEMINARY PRESIDENT AMID CHARGES OF MISREPRESENTATION
The president of Liberty Theological Seminary, who apologized in February for calling the head of the Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board a liar, is now being questioned about his own testimony of conversion from radical Islam to Christianity.

Liberty University’s board of directors decided not to reprimand Ergun Caner, dean of the theology school since 2005, after conducting an inquiry into questions raised in numerous blogs about his credibility.

The ruling, reported by Christianity Today, follows weeks of questions in the Baptist blogosphere about written descriptions of Caner’s academic credentials and apparent embellishments in recorded versions of his testimony, preached in prominent Baptist pulpits over the years.

On April 26, Focus on the Family radio re-broadcast a sermon preached shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, in which Caner said he was born in Sweden, grew up in Turkey and did not learn English until moving to the United States in 1978. He claimed he was part of “Islamic Jihad” and said it was “my people” who carried out the horrors of the day.

The problem, according to various Internet sites, is that none of that is true. …. Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5118/53/

YMCA TRIES TO `LIGHT UP THE C’ IN NAME, PROGRAMS
About 50 teenagers and their parents gathered at the YMCA Trout Lodge recently, in the middle of the Mark Twain National Forest, to praise Jesus Christ. “We pray that this weekend our hearts are touched, Lord,” one of the group leaders, Mark Patterson said, “and that we grow closer to you.”

But this was not one of the many church retreats that meet here, and Patterson is not a pastor. He’s the program director of the South City Y in St. Louis, and the group he prayed with was there for FaithFest, the most public evidence yet that the Young Men’s Christian Association in St. Louis is returning to its Christian roots.

FaithFest — a weekend full of Christian rock performances, prayer circles, and a worship service — was the latest piece of the nonprofit group’s effort to “light up the ‘C’ in YMCA,” as staffers have begun to put it.

“It’s a physical, tangible example of us showing our commitment to faith,” said Julie Catron, vice president of marketing and membership for the YMCA of Greater St. Louis.

FaithFest is just the beginning of the Y’s move toward a more visible Christianity. For 157 years, the St. Louis YMCA’s mission has been “to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.” But for almost as long, the Y has moved steadily away from overt displays of Christian principles. That’s about to change…. Read this in full at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/03/ymca-tries-to-light-up-th_n_561610.html

2010 CHRISTIAN BOOK AWARD WINNERS
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has announced the winners for the 2010 Christian Book Awards. Presented annually to the finest in Christian publishing since 1978, the Christian Book Awards honors titles in six categories – Bibles, Bible Reference & Study, Christian Life, Fiction, Children & Youth, and Inspiration & Gift. The winners in each category were announced at the ECPA Awards banquet held Monday, May 3, during ECPA’s annual Executive Leadership Summit in Nashville, TN. One title, “The Hole in Our Gospel” by Richard Stearns, received the top honor by being named the 2010 Christian Book of the Year.

The Christian Book Awards selects five finalists in each category based on both editorial excellence and category-specific criteria. This year, 226 entries (published in the last year) were submitted by 33 ECPA member publishers for review and scoring by a total of 72 judges.

The 2010 Christian Book Award winners are:
* 2010 Christian Book of the Year
“The Hole in Our Gospel,” Richard Stearns, Thomas Nelson, 9780785229186

* Bibles
“Glo”, Immersion Digital, Zondervan, 9780981990200

* Bible Reference & Study
“The New Moody Atlas of the Bible,” Barry J. Beitzel, Moody Publishers, 9780802404411

* Christian Life
“The Hole in Our Gospel,” Richard Stearns, Thomas Nelson, 9780785229186

* Fiction
“Watch Over Me,” Christa Parrish, Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764205545

* Children & Youth
“B4UD8- Before You Date,” Hayley and Michael DiMarco, Revell/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780800733087

* Inspiration & Gift
“Grace Notes,” Philip Yancey, Zondervan, 9780310287728
…. Read this in full at
http://www.ecpa.org/

‘THE HOLE IN OUR GOSPEL’ NAMED BOOK OF YEAR
“The Hole in Our Gospel,” the Christian bestseller by Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision US, has won the “2010 Christian Book of the Year” award. The award was presented May 3 in Nashville by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).

“We hope the honor of being named ‘Christian Book of the Year’ will help ‘The Hole in Our Gospel’ mobilize even more Christians to care for the poor worldwide,” said ECPA’s President Mark Kuyper. “In a year of unforgettable world disasters, including the devastating earthquake in Haiti, we are eager to encourage believers to take action for those in need.”

Published by Thomas Nelson, the book chronicles Stearns’ journey of faith, as well as his decision to leave the corporate sector after more than 20 years and lead the major fundraising office of the world’s largest Christian humanitarian organization.

“The response to ‘The Hole in Our Gospel’ has far exceeded my hopes,” says Stearns, who heads up the U.S. offices of the global agency. “Hundreds of readers have contacted me to explain how the book has enlightened them to embrace Jesus’ commandment to serve the poor and the downtrodden.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/8213813812.html

GLOBAL DAY OF PRAYER
May 23
http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/

PREAKNESS STAKES
May 15
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preakness_Stakes
http://www.preakness.com/

BELMONT STAKES
June 5
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belmont_Stakes
http://www.belmontstakes.com/

NBA 2010 PLAYOFFS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_NBA_Playoffs
http://www.nba.com/2010/playoffs/2010/04/15/schedule/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt1

STANLEY CUP 2010 PLAYOFFS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Stanley_Cup_playoffs
http://www.nhl.com/cup/round1/index.html

INDIANAPOLIS 500
May 30
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indianapolis_500
http://www.indy500.com/

2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA
June 11 – July 11
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_FIFA_World_Cup
http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/index.html

HOW DO WE ASSESS SPIRITUAL GROWTH?
An interview with Dallas Willard

Q: How can churches know if they are being effective at making disciples?
A: Many churches are measuring the wrong things. We measure things like attendance and giving, but we should be looking at more fundamental things like anger, contempt, honesty, and the degree to which people are under the thumb of their lusts. Those things can be counted, but not as easily as offerings.

Q: Why don’t more churches gauge these qualities among their people?
A: First of all, many leaders don’t want to measure these qualities because what they usually discover is not worth bragging about. We’d rather focus on institutional measures of success. Secondly, we must have people who are willing to be assessed in these ways. And finally, we need the right tools to measure spiritual formation. There are some good tools available like Randy Frazee’s Christian Life Profile and Monvee.com, which John Ortberg likes…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2010/spring/weassessspiritual.html

THE SERIOUSNESS OF MORTALITY
We should be very sure that the ruined soul is not one who has missed a few more or less important theological points and will flunk a theological examination at the end of life. Hell is not an “oops!” or a slip. One does not miss heaven by a hair, but by constant effort to avoid and escape God. “Outer darkness” is for one who, everything said, wants it, whose entire orientation has slowly and firmly set itself against God and therefore against how the universe actually is. It is for those who are disastrously in error about their own life and their place before God and man. The ruined soul must be willing to hear of and recognize its own ruin before it can find how to enter a different path, the path of eternal life that naturally leads into spiritual formation in Christlikeness.”
Dallas Willard (b. 1935), The Renovation of the Heart, Colorado Springs, Colo.: Navpress, 2002, p. 59

VA. GOVERNOR LIFTS BAN ON POLICE CHAPLAINS’ SECTARIAN PRAYERS
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has lifted a two-year-old ban on sectarian prayers — including those referring to Jesus Christ — led by Virginia State Police chaplains at department-sanctioned public events.

The recently elected Republican governor instructed police superintendent Col. Steven Flaherty April 28 to inform the nine troopers who serve as chaplains of the change in policy.

The governor does not believe the state should tell chaplains of any faith how to pray,” McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Religious officials of all faiths should be allowed to pray according to the dictates of their consciences.”

Flaherty, who was reappointed superintendent by McDonnell on April 28, initiated the ban in September 2008 in response to a ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a Fredericksburg, Va., City Council member may not pray in Jesus’ name during council meetings because invocations are government speech. Flaherty said the chaplain-prayer policy never applied to private ceremonies or individual counseling sessions, but only official public departmental events.

In response, six chaplains — all troopers who hold the religious post voluntarily — resigned in protest. Then-Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, said at the time he did not initiate the ban but supported it. Attempts to change the policy failed in the Virginia General Assembly in 2009 and 2010.

Conservative Christian groups hailed McDonnell’s reinstatement of sectarian prayers…. Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5102/53/

A FADED RELIC OF CHRISTENDOM REAPPEARS
The Roman Catholic Church is weathering another sex scandal, but it is impossible to tell in Turin, Italy, where the faint image of a bearded man on a yellowing linen sheet provides the moment, if brief, for pilgrims to declare and reaffirm their faith. For some, it does not matter if the Shroud of Turin is authentic. It is the shared spiritual experience that counts most.

Ten years after the shroud last went on display, nearly two million people have made reservations for a timed glimpse of the religious object (five minutes on weekdays, three on weekends, depending on the bookings, though the labyrinthine line can take well over an hour).

For most of them, the bearded man is Jesus Christ and the 14-foot-3-inch by 3-foot-7-inch linen cloth now encased in a bulletproof frame is his burial shroud. It is one of the most venerated — and contentious — relics of Christendom. The image is so faint that a recorded announcement assists rapt onlookers to decipher it…. Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/world/europe/04turin.html

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM GROUP CHALLENGES ARMY SYMBOL
A religious watchdog group says a cross and motto on the emblem of an Army hospital in Colorado violate the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state and should be removed. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation asked the Army this week to change the emblem of Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, outside Colorado Springs.

The emblem says “Pro deo et humanitate” or “For God and humanity.” Fort Carson commanders will review the complaint, Lt. Col. Steve Wollman said. He said the emblem had been approved by the Army Institute of Heraldry and has been in use since 1969…. Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-04-29-army-cross_N.htm

BRITISH JUDGE: CHRISTIAN BELIEFS HAVE NO LEGAL STANDING
A top British judge has ruled that Christian beliefs have no standing under secular law because they lack evidence and cannot be proven. Lord Justice John Grant McKenzie Laws made the declaration April 29 in throwing out a defamation suit by Christian relationship counselor who refused to offer sex therapy to gay couples. Gary McFarlane protested that he was fired because offering sex therapy to same-gender couples violates his Christian principles. But Laws said “religious faith is necessarily subjective, being incommunicable by any kind of proof or evidence.” He added that to use the law to protect “a position held purely on religious grounds cannot therefore be justified.” No religious belief, said the judge, can be protected under the law “however long its tradition, however rich its culture.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/30/british-judge-christian-b_n_559244.html

VERSE TO PONDER
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12

CONSIDER
A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God’s boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it.”
Dwight L. Moody

CHURCHES ARE MAKING THEIR MESSAGE APP-LICABLE
by Alex Murashko
For tech savvy Christians or for just about any of the faithful under 35 years old it’s a no-brainer: spreading the Gospel means using the tools available now … and for a growing number of churches that means having their own iPhone app.

Before getting into why churches like Mars Hill and Saddleback, as well as ministries of every type, have increasingly embraced apps used in mobile devices such as the iPhone, here’s the basic definition of app:

APPlication – The term is shorthand for “application” and was used in the IT community for decades but became newly popular for mobile applications, especially since the launch of Apple’s App (online) Store in 2008. An app is software that is commonly used for business or entertainment. It can be virtually any type of program. You might be familiar with its use in media players such as iTunes.

Tech leader, Chris Ediger, works for Giant Impact, which includes a leadership development group and program named “Catalyst.” The group hosts conferences in the U.S. and last month launched their own app during Catalyst West. Ediger explains why Catalyst, along with software and app developer company, Subsplash, made the free app available…. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2010/s10050028.htm

iPHONE APP AIDS PREACHING, EVANGELISM
A free iPhone application that includes preaching resources and evangelism tools has been launched by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“More than just provide information about Southwestern, we wanted to give all Christians and pastors helpful resources for use in life and ministry,” said Matt Fuller, director of web services and developer of the iPhone app. “We believe this app captures Southwestern’s heartbeat: ‘Preach the Word, Reach the World.'”

The app features several preaching resources, including audio from the seminary’s annual expository and advanced expository preaching workshops. During the past six years of the Expository Preaching Workshop, Southwestern professors along with guest professors and pastors such as Jerry Vines, Jim Shaddix and David Platt have led sessions on the state of preaching and strategies for becoming more faithful expositors of God’s Word. The seminary’s Advanced Expository Preaching Workshop has featured intensive studies for pastors who know the basics of expository preaching and wish to go deeper, utilizing the original languages. In addition to audio, the app contains “10 Steps to Effective Text-Driven Preaching,” which takes a pastor through the development of an expository sermon…. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32883

SAFE SPEECH
Franklin Graham, infuriated by his disinvitation from the National Day of Prayer ceremony at the Pentagon, went on a media tour, arguing that he was being discriminated against for his Christian beliefs. He prayed outside the Pentagon and at other locations throughout the nation’s capital. NEWSWEEK editor Jon Meacham and religion editor Lisa Miller met with the son of the evangelist Billy Graham NEWSWEEK’s offices. Excerpts from their conversation:

Meacham: Would your sense of Christian humility not lead you to see the point of critics who say that, because of the things you have said [calling Islam “wicked” and “evil”], you could possibly be more divisive at a state-sponsored occasion than unifying?
Graham: Well, sure, someone can try to make that argument. But you have — what is it? — 80 percent of America claims to be of the Christian faith. OK, so there may be 20 percent that may be offended, but it won’t be 20 percent…. Read this in full at
http://www.newsweek.com/id/237453

A DANGEROUS BELIEF
by Stephen Prothero
When I was a college student in the 1970s and 1980s I was told repeatedly that all religions are one. Today teachers who profess this view are in good company. According to Gandhi, “belief in one God is the cornerstone of all religions.” According to the Dalai Lama, “the essential message of all religions is very much the same.” From this perspective, popularized by “perennial philosophers” such as Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell and Huston Smith, all religions are beautiful and all are true. The prevailing metaphor portrays the world’s religions as different paths up the same mountain. “It is possible to climb life’s mountain from any side,” writes Mr. Smith, “but when the top is reached the trails converge.”

This is a seductive sentiment in a world in which religious violence can seem as present and potent as God. But it is dangerous, disrespectful, and untrue.

The world’s religious rivals do converge when it comes to ethics — no religion tells you it is OK to have sex with your mother or to murder your brother — but they diverge sharply on doctrine, ritual, mythology, experience and law. Such differences may not matter to mystics or philosophers of religion, but they matter to ordinary religious folk. Muslims do not think that the pilgrimage to Mecca is inessential; in fact, they include it among the Five Pillars of Islam. Catholics do not think that baptism is inessential; in fact, they include it among their Seven Sacraments. But religious differences do not just matter to religious practitioners. They have real effects in the real world. People refuse to marry a Muslim or a Hindu because of them. And in some cases religious disagreements move adherents to fight and kill.

Whether the world’s religions are one or many might appear to be an academic question. But our world remains furiously religious, so religion remains, for good and for evil, one of the most powerful influences in world history. In the 21st century alone, religion has toppled the Bamiyan statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan and the Twin Towers in New York City. It has stirred up civil war in Sri Lanka and Darfur. Today religious rivalries are either simmering or boiling over in Nigeria, Myanmar and Kurdistan. Religion also remains a prime mover in Kashmir, where two nuclear powers, the Hindu-majority state of India and the Muslim-majority state of Pakistan, remain locked in an ancient territorial dispute with palpable religious overtones. Our understanding of these battlefields is not advanced in the least by the shibboleth that “all religions are one.” …. Read this in full at
http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052748703709804575202261474208230-lMyQjAxMTAwMDMwMDEzNDAyWj.html

BELIEVE IT OR NOT
by David B. Hart
I think I am very close to concluding that this whole “New Atheism” movement is only a passing fad — not the cultural watershed its purveyors imagine it to be, but simply one of those occasional and inexplicable marketing vogues that inevitably go the way of pet rocks, disco, prime-time soaps, and The Bridges of Madison County. This is not because I necessarily think the current “marketplace of ideas” particularly good at sorting out wise arguments from foolish. But the latest trend in à la mode godlessness, it seems to me, has by now proved itself to be so intellectually and morally trivial that it has to be classified as just a form of light entertainment, and popular culture always tires of its diversions sooner or later and moves on to other, equally ephemeral toys.

Take, for instance, the recently published 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists. Simple probability, surely, would seem to dictate that a collection of essays by fifty fairly intelligent and zealous atheists would contain at least one logically compelling, deeply informed, morally profound, or conceptually arresting argument for not believing in God. Certainly that was my hope in picking it up. Instead, I came away from the whole drab assemblage of preachments and preenings feeling rather as if I had just left a large banquet at which I had been made to dine entirely on crushed ice and water vapor…. Read this in full at
http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/04/believe-it-or-not

WORKPLACE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BILL FINDS REVIVED INTEREST
More than a decade after it was first introduced, an on-again off-again bill to protect employees’ religious expression in the workplace is attracting renewed attention that could lead to action on Capitol Hill in coming weeks.

The Workplace Religious Freedom Act would revise and strengthen the existing requirements imposed on employers to accommodate the religious practices of their employees.

“The bill will be introduced to Congress soon in a fashion that will eliminate the concerns some folks had since its inception,” said Richard Foltin, the director of national and legislative affairs for the American Jewish Committee.

Touted in certain circles as the “WRFA god,” Foltin co-chairs an unusually broad coalition of almost 40 religious groups, from Sikhs to Seventh-Day Adventists to Southern Baptists, who support the bill’s religious freedom expansions.

If passed, the now narrowly tailored legislation would require employers to make reasonable accommodation in the three areas where the vast majority of religious accommodation claims fall: religious clothing, grooming, and scheduling of religious holidays.

Previous versions of the bill had been criticized for being overly broad. The ACLU and the US Chamber of Commerce were concerned other employees might be forced to carry additional workloads to accommodate co-workers, and that it would allow religious viewpoints to interfere with a secular workplace…. Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2010/05/workplace-religious-freedom-bi.php

EVANGELICALS TAKE AIM AT ONE OF THEIR OWN
Southern Baptist theologian Jim Hamilton doesn’t write a lot of parables. But he recently posted an original one on his blog in a bid to delegitimize a popular author who Hamilton says is falsely advertising himself as an evangelical. In the parable, author Brian McLaren transforms a Whole Foods Market into a McDonald’s, yet misleadingly retains the “Whole Foods” name. Hamilton says that’s exactly what McLaren is doing in his new book, “A New Kind of Christianity.”

In short, McLaren’s refashioning Christianity into something altogether different, but still claiming the “Christian” name, while leading the unaware astray, Hamilton said. McLaren’s “is the same kind of `Christianity’ that colluded, went along with, Hitler’s program in Germany,” says Hamilton, associate professor of biblical theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. “Leading theologians in that era of Germany regarded the Bible and history of the Christian faith in the same way as Brian McLaren does, which is: `This is outdated. Let’s replace it with something up to date.”‘

In attempting to marginalize McLaren, Hamilton has plenty of company. In March, the flagship seminary took the rare step of convening a panel to debunk a single book: McLaren’s. Bloggers, meanwhile, have described McLaren’s approach as “dangerous,” “seductive” and “heretical.”

In his book, McLaren, who says he comes out of a fundamentalist background, questions long-held assumptions of Christianity. He bristles at the notion of worshiping a God whose wrath sometimes appears unjustified. He engages the Bible as literature, in which God is a main character, rather than as an authoritative type of “constitution” for the church. And he suggests people need divine salvation from human evil, not from a sovereign God…. Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2010/05/evangelicals-take-aim-at-one-o.php

GERMANY’S MEGA PASSION PLAY IS BACK, AND JEWS ARE WATCHING
With its focus on the last days of Jesus’ life, a Passion play should, by its nature, arouse passions. But in Oberammergau, Germany, the world’s most famous Passion play keeps stirring the wrong kind.

As it has almost every 10 years since 1634, this Bavarian town put the final touches on the Oberammergau Passion Play in February, keeping up its end of a divine compact after residents survived the bubonic plague amidst the Thirty Years War.

And, as has become almost routine in recent decades, plans for the play — particularly the choice of words in the script — are causing heartburn among some of the world’s Jewish leaders.

Passion plays, by their very nature, present serious problems,” says Rabbi James Rudin, the American Jewish Committee’s senior interreligious adviser. “It is possible to have a Passion play without the Jews as villains, but I have never seen one.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianindex.org/6374.article

CONSIDER
We find comfort among those who agree with us — growth among those who don’t.”
Frank Clark

VERSE TO PONDER
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: FAR BE SORROW, TEARS, AND SIGHING
Words: Unknown author, 13th Century or later; translated from Latin to English by the compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern
Music: Samuel J. Rowton

Far be sorrow, tears and sighing!
Waves are calming, storms are dying,
Moses hath o’erpassed the sea,
Israel’s captive hosts are free;
Life by death slew death and saved us,
In His blood the Lamb hath saved us,
Clothing us with victory.

Jesus Christ from death has risen,
Lo! His Godhead bursts the prison,
While His Manhood passes free,
Vanquishing our misery.
Rise we free from condemnation;
Through our God’s humiliation,
Ours is now the victory.

Vain the foe’s despair and madness!
See the dayspring of our gladness!
Slaves no more of Satan we;
Children, by the Son set free;
Rise, for life with death has striven,
All the snares of hell are riven,
Rise and claim the victory.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/f/b/fbsorrow.htm

ON PRAYER
Fix my thoughts, my hopes, and my desires, upon heaven and heavenly things; teach me to despise the world, to repent me deeply for my sins; give me holy purposes of amendment, and [spiritual] strength and assistances to perform faithfully whatsoever I shall intend piously. Enrich my understanding with an eternal treasure of Divine Truths, that I may know thy will: and thou, who workest in us to will and to do of Thy good pleasure, teach me to obey all Thy commandments, to believe all Thy revelations, and make me partaker of all Thy gracious promises.”
Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living [1650], in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. III, London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1847, p. 34

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

Iceland Volcano Photos
http://blogs.tampabay.com/photo/2010/04/iceland-volcano.html

Historical Browser Statistics Visualization
http://www.axiis.org/examples/BrowserMarketShare.html

Amazing Photos of Animals
http://devsnippets.com/article/animal-photography-at-its-finest.html

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.)

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank@gmail.com

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

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CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

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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/

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Subscribe!
Subscribe to CONNECTIONS here

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

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