CONNECTIONS – 08/15/10

For week of August 15, 2010
Issue 317

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 2,065 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


Though [Christ] was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:6-8

CONSIDER
Are we doing it? Are we giving the world a symmetrical, authentic, fully-formed image of Christ? There is still time. Spiritual growth is not a matter of chronology alone. It’s a matter of spirit. Of heart. Of who you are to the next person you meet. In the next crisis you face. In the next moment you live.”
Lloyd John Ogilvie, from his book The Magnificent Vision

‘BLANK BIBLE’ CHALLENGE SEEKS TO REVIVE USA INTEREST IN SCRIPTURE
A new initiative this fall seeks to revive American interest in studying the Bible while connecting USA Christians to people who do not have the Scriptures in their native language.

The Seed Company, a division of Wycliffe Bible Translators, will launch the “Blank Bible Challenge” in October. Participating US churches will receive daily devotions, including ones in video story-telling format, as well as detailed information about a specific people group that still needs the Bible translated into their heart language.

“Each year, 2.4 million people die without ever hearing the promises of God’s Word; yet, here in America, many more seem to take having a Bible in their language for granted,” says Roy Peterson, president of The Seed Company. “Our goal is to reinvigorate a love for the Bible nationally, so we can encourage churches to be connected with people groups internationally, which will enable us to translate the Scriptures into their heart language for the first time.” …. Read these in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100809/blank-bible-challenge-seeks-to-revive-us-interest-in-scripture/index.html

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL RESPONSE TO THE PROP. 8 DECISION?
Responses from Matthew Lee Anderson, Alan Chambers, Timothy George, Andreas Köstenberger, Dale Kuehne, Andrew Marin, Gerald McDermott, Scot McKnight, Jennifer Roback Morse, Jenell Williams Paris, Glenn Stanton, Sarah Sumner, and Mark Yarhouse…. Read these in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/augustweb-only/42.11.0.html

COLSON ON PROP. 8 BATTLE: WE CAN STILL WIN THIS
Over the past 30 years, virtually every Supreme Court case involving sexual freedom – whether it’s been abortion or gay rights – has been decided in favor of the expanded liberties, notes prominent Christian conservative leader Chuck Colson. But when the case of same-sex marriage reaches the high court, the battle can be won, asserts Colson in a broadcast commentary. Read and hear it at
http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/15036

DISCOMFORT WITH DAD SIGNIFIES A DEEPER PROBLEM
by Stan Guthrie
In the July/August issue of The Atlantic, journalist Pamela Paul seriously asks, “Are Fathers Necessary?” Necessary?

Christians can point to a whole body of evidence showing the importance of “Dad” at home. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, “Children who live without their biological fathers and are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health and emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior and avoid high-risk behaviors.” Fathers, the research seems to prove, are not only necessary. They are essential.

Not so fast, Paul might rejoin. This kind of research, she says, is skewed, because it compares households with a mom and a dad to those headed by single women—in other words, we have been comparing apples to kiwis all this time. Paul says that when we look at households headed by two *adults* — whether man-woman, man-man, or woman-woman — the supposed advantages of fathers melt away like an ice cream cone at the county fair…. Read these in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Christian%20Living/Features/11635420/

JOHN DICKSON ON THE NEW ATHEISTS
In two videos John Dickson of the Center for Public Christianity provides some important observations about the quality of the scholarship he’s seen from some of the New Atheists. His question becomes, “If in areas where I can check their scholarship and it proves wrong or they are misrepresenting things, then how can I really trust them in other areas?” The first video focuses on minor problems while the second focuses on some of the bigger issues. Both are worth watching but if you have to choose only one pick number 2 (it’s only 8:24 minutes long).
http://bbhchurchconnection.blogspot.com/2010/08/john-dickson-on-new-atheists.html

THE FIRST CHURCH OF ROBOTICS
by Jaron Lanier
By allowing artificial intelligence to reshape our concept of personhood, we are leaving ourselves open to the flipside: we think of people more and more as computers, just as we think of computers as people…. Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/opinion/09lanier.html?_r=1

THE ‘C’ SHOULD STAY IN THE YMCA
By John A. Murray
Last month, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) unveiled a new brand strategy to address America’s needs, as well as a name change to “the Y.” After surveying “a cross section of Americans to learn more about the most pressing issues and challenges facing their communities today,” the Y had found that only 51% of Americans were optimistic about the future while 49% were not.

“This is a very important, exciting time for the Y,” said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “For 160 years, we’ve focused on changing lives for the better…. People are concerned about the problems facing their communities. Like the Y, they understand that lasting change will only come about if we work together to improve our health, strengthen our families and support our neighbors. Our hope is that more people will choose to engage with the Y.”

Problems? Change? Hope? This “new brand strategy” is a puzzle. While the Y’s written mission still declares putting, “Christian principles into practice through programs,” the newly rolled-out strategy does not mention the change and hope found in Christ.

So, is this organization still the YMCA? Or is this a new brand under the title of the Y, no longer with an emphasis on the “C”?…. Read this in full at
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704271804575405490405454722.html

WILLOW CREEK INTERVIEWS TOMS FOUNDER, FORMER GE CEO
As a gifted entrepreneur, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie wanted to amass tons of money, then give it away when he reached 60 or 70 years old. Be successful, then give back, he thought. “I knew I’d be blessed from that. I thought ‘that is life,'” the 33-year-old Californian said Friday during The Global Leadership Summit in South Barrington, Ill. But after four years of delivering over 600,000 pairs of shoes to children around the world, and seeing smiles on the faces of children and parents and lives changed, including his, he wouldn’t revert back to that initial dream he had during his freshman year in college. “I would have had to have waited until I’m 60 or 70 to have the blessings I have today if I had done that,” he said.

Mycoskie founded TOMS Shoes as a for-profit company in 2006 after he came across volunteers in Argentina who distributed to the needy slightly used shoes that were donated. Though the group’s effort was commendable, Mycoskie felt it wasn’t a sustainable model because it solely depended on donations…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100807/willow-creek-interviews-toms-founder-former-ge-ceo/index.html

ABOUT LOVING
I find that it is better to love badly and faultily than not to try and love at all. God does not have to have perfect instruments, and the Holy One can use our feeble and faltering attempts at love and transform them. My task is to keep on trying to love, to be faithful in my continuing attempt, not necessarily to be successful. The quality of my love may well be the most important element of my spiritual guidance.”
Morton T. Kelsey, from his book Companions on the Inner Way

AMERICANS’ CHURCH ATTENDANCE INCHES UP IN 2010
Americans’ self-reported church attendance has continued to inch up in 2010, with 43.1% of Americans reporting weekly or almost weekly attendance. This is up slightly from 42.8% in 2009 and 42.1% in 2008. The increase comes as Americans’ economic confidence has also risen, suggesting that, instead of church attendance rising when economic times get bad, as some theorize, the opposite pattern may be occurring…. Read this in full at
http://www.gallup.com/poll/141044/Americans-Church-Attendance-Inches-2010.aspx

THE LOST ART OF COMMITMENT
by Chuck Colson
Certain characteristics are so inherent to Christianity that to neglect them is to become a walking oxymoron. A Christian without commitment is such an oxymoron. That’s why I was so disturbed when a friend shared a statement from presidential candidates at a Christian college. When asked, “What has changed the most in the past 20 years with young people who are entering college?” all the candidates said that young adults today are far less willing to commit to anything.

Whether we are talking about career, marriage, or faith, studies back up their observation. In 2008, more than half of people ages 20 to 24 had been with their current employer for less than a year. Although the recession has dampened this somewhat, young adults are still floundering when it comes to embracing a calling. Marriage, especially, has suffered; according to U.S. Census data, young adults are marrying later than ever. A 2006 PBS documentary, Generation Next, gave some insight into why: desire for adventure, career advancement, and prolonged adolescence. Lack of commitment is also hitting religion—hard. Studies suggest that the iPod generation is choosing which aspects of the faith to adopt to create their own unique spiritual playlists…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/august/10.49.html

‘AN UNUSUAL GENERATION’
The 5,000 teenagers gathered at the recent Presbyterian Youth Triennium know the issues of the world: the environment, poverty, and war, to name a few.

But that knowledge must now translate into action -— and the youth at Triennium can make that happen, said the Rev. Tony Campolo, speaking at the closing worship July 24.

“You are an unusual generation. I’ve lived a long time, and you are the generation I’ve been waiting for,” he said. “We cannot have the world go on like it has gone on. You’re the generation that has to stop it.”

Jesus wants to transform us into instruments of justice, Campolo said. He recited part of the Lord’s Prayer: Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are called to promote justice and love while we are alive on earth, he said…. Read this in full at
http://www.pcusa.org/news/2010/8/5/unusual-generation/

MEGACHURCHES
Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research partnered with Leadership Network to conduct the largest national representative study of megachurch attendees to date. The term megachurch generally refers to any Protestant congregation with a sustained average weekly attendance of 2000 persons or more in its worship services.

Megachurches are typically located in suburban areas of rapidly growing sprawl cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix and Seattle.  These churches are often prominently situated on large properties near major highways…. Read this in full at
http://blogs.chron.com/factistics/2010/07/megachurches.html

PRINCETON REVIEW NAMES MOST, LEAST RELIGIOUS CAMPUSES
Brigham Young University was named the nation’s most religious campus, and Sarah Lawrence College the least religious, in new rankings released Aug. 3.

The Princeton Review released the 2011 edition of their yearly assessment of “The Best 373 Colleges,” which included rankings of the most and least religious students.

Mormon-owned BYU rose from second place in last year’s rankings; it also ranked first in the list of “Stone-Cold Sober Schools,” an honor which the school has held for 13 consecutive years.

All of the schools with the most religious student bodies hold some kind of church affiliation, other than the U.S. Air Force Academy (Colo.), which came in 14th.

On the other side of the spectrum, Sarah Lawrence College in New York took the lead as having the least religious students, up from the No. 9 spot last year. Also in the top 10, in the No. 8 spot, is Presbyterian-affiliated Macalester College in Minnesota… Read this in full at
http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=16472

OBEY GOD WITH EVERY CHOICE
Every virtue is a form of obedience to God. Every evil word or act is a form of rebellion against Him. This may not be clear at first; but, if we think patiently, we shall find that it is true. Why were you angry? You will probably find that it was because you were not willing to accept the world as God has made it; or because you were not willing to leave it to God to deal with the people that He has made.”
Stephen Neill (1900-1984), The Christian Character, London: Lutterworth Press, 1955, p. 17

PRAYERS REALLY CAN HELP TO CURE THE SICK
The power of prayer really is capable of healing the sick, according to a research team. The virtually blind could see better and the near-deaf showed a marked improvement in their hearing, it is reported.

The academics studied the effects of prayer in Mozambique and Brazil where spiritual healing for the blind and deaf is common.

In the African country, a woman named Maryam could not see a hand with two raised fingers from a distance of one foot. But a healer put her hand on Maryam’s eyes, hugged her and prayed for a minute. She then held up five fingers which Maryam was able to count from the same distance, it is claimed.

She went on to read the 20/125 line on an eye chart -– meaning she had 40% sharpness of vision, if judged against 20/20 or 100% perfect vision. Other visually-impaired people also showed improvement after prayers, it was claimed. The US team from Indiana University, led by religious studies professor Candy Gunther Brown, also reported that two deaf subjects showed a 50 decibel improvement in their hearing after spiritual intervention…. Read this in full at
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/191225/Prayers-really-can-help-to-cure-the-sick/

See also
http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/14990.html

OUR FERVOR
We have to repent of our blindness, our lukewarmness, and our disobedience, and turn back to the central truth of Christ as Lord and Saviour; an ethical system will not save us here, nor a timid sentimentalism, nor an excited emotional return, nor a dilettante mysticism.

We have to find that deep contrition which is the condition of His abiding. Repentance is not a mere feeling of sorrow or contrition for an act of wrongdoing. The regret I feel when I act impatiently or speak crossly is not repentance.

Repentance is contrition for what we are in our fundamental beings, that we are wrong in our deepest roots because our internal government is by Self and not by God. And it is an activity of the whole person. Unless I will to be different, the mind will not follow.

True repentance brings an urge to be different, because of the sense of the incessant movement of what I am, forming, forming, forming what I shall be in the years to come.”
Florence Allshorn (1887-1950), The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn, London: SCM Press, 1957, p. 104

REACH OUT
Many people are hungry not for bread only, but they are hungry for … love. Many people are not only naked for want of a piece of cloth, but they are naked for human dignity … Homelessness is not only not having a home made of bricks, but homelessness is being rejected, unwanted, unloved, uncared for. People have forgotten what the human touch is, what it is to smile, for somebody to smile at them, somebody to recognize them, somebody to wish them well.”
Mother Teresa

THE WORLD’S PRAYER GUIDE
Operation World might just be one of the most popular and influential evangelical books you’ve never read. Since 1974, the daily, country-by-country prayer guide has sold 2.5 million copies in six editions, including about 400,000 for the 2001 (most recent) edition. Canadian Jason Mandryk, a missionary researcher with Worldwide Evangelization for Christ International, has taken the reins as author of the newest edition, which will be published in Sept. Christianity Today editor at large Stan Guthrie spoke with Mandryk about shaping the edition in the wake of numerous changes in the political, economic, and religious spheres in a post-9/11 world.

Q: What are the most significant changes to Operation World since the last edition?
A: The global church has extended itself into new areas, even while it faces a growing crisis of confidence in the Western world. Since the invasion of Iraq, the Middle East has seen an acceleration of the exodus of traditionally Christian peoples on a scale that dwarfs the praiseworthy increase in believers from a Muslim background.

Q: How has the book changed to reflect a post-9/11 world?
A: 9/11 profoundly affected issues of security in missionary work and the interface of politics and religion in many countries. What has gone into the book reflects this; we have struggled to discover the entire ministry that goes on in many of these places, and have needed to be much more circumspect in how we report it. But in the unevangelized world, 9/11 was a non-event, or at least far down on the list of pressing issues that shape the nature and dynamics of Christian ministry…. Read this interview in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/august/9.55.html

Pray Through Ramadan Prayer Calendar
http://www.opendoorsusa.org/content/view/1170

Christians Urged, Equipped to Pray During Islam’s Holy Month
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100811/christians-urged-equipped-to-pray-during-islams-holy-month/index.html

VERSE TO PONDER
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1

CONSIDER
Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him, for even the Prodigal Son who had fallen most low, could still be saved. The bitterest enemy and also he who was your friend could again be your friend; love that has grown cold can kindle again.”
Soren Kierkegaard

CHRIST WITHOUT THE CHURCH?
by Richard Mouw
Anne Rice has been much in the news because of her announcement that she is leaving Christianity. No more church for her, she says. Not that she is abandoning Christ — just the institutional church. “I refuse to be anti-gay,” she says. “I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life.”I found Anne Rice’s 2005 spiritual autobiography, Called Out of the Darkness, where she chronicled her return to Catholicism, very moving. It was clear that she had come to a genuine faith in Christ.

When I read her comments about homosexuality — very personal comments, expressing her devotion to her gay son — in that book, however, I said “Uh oh!” to myself. Not because I was ready to question her faith commitment on that score, but because I worried that that sort of strong advocacy she was expressing would alienate her from Evangelicals and conservative Catholics — the folks most likely otherwise to celebrate her marvelous testimony of profound Christian commitment. It is clear now that the alienation has gotten to her. Some folks obviously wanted to use her to support their agenda, and she has refused to play along.

I am saddened by her decision. At the same time, I am encouraged by her clear testimony of a continuing commitment to Jesus Christ…. Read this in full at
http://www.netbloghost.com/mouw/?p=157

BILLY GRAHAM LIBRARY HONORS CRUSADE’S MUSIC LEADER CLIFF BARROWS
Cliff Barrows, music and program director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), is the highlight of a two-month special exhibit now on display at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. According to a news release, “Cliff Barrows Tribute: A Singing Faith,” will provide visitors with a fascinating glimpse of one of evangelist Billy Graham’s closest friends and ministry partners.

Barrows, 87, was born in Ceres, Calif., the son of a farmer. His association with Billy Graham began in 1945 at a Youth For Christ rally in Western North Carolina. Only one other living person, Crusades soloist George Beverly Shea – now 101 – has served in ministry with Graham longer…. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/STORIES/2010/s10080007.htm

See also
http://www.billygraham.org/specialsections/library/BGLibrary_Calendar.asp?id=39

SWITCHING THE PRICE TAGS
by Mike Glenn
The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard told a story of thieves who broke into a jewelry store and didn’t steal anything; they simply rearranged the price tags. The next morning, the expensive jewelry was sold as junk, and the junk jewelry was sold as expensive. His point is obvious. We live in a world where someone has rearranged the price tags.

Nowhere is this switching of price tags more evident than in the area of self-esteem. In our culture, people are valued for how they look, what they can do or even what they have, but rarely for who they are. In our world, you have to be beautiful by mathematical standards (and yes there is a formula for beauty — it’s all about ratios), entertaining (not talented, but entertaining), and if you are not, the world has no place for you. If you can’t make the Top 100 in the world on some list, you are nothing.

This pressure on self-esteem has devastating consequences in the lives our young adults. Young men commit heinous acts just to prove to someone they are a man. Young women get involved in destructive relationships because they are told they are nothing is they do not follow the culture’s standards…. Read this in full at
http://www.mikeglenn.org/blog/2010/07/21/switching-the-price-tags/

CONGREGATIONS GONE WILD
by G. Jeffrey MacDonald
The American clergy is suffering from burnout, several new studies show. And part of the problem, as researchers have observed, is that pastors work too much. Many of them need vacations, it’s true. But there’s a more fundamental problem that no amount of rest and relaxation can help solve: congregational pressure to forsake one’s highest calling.

The pastoral vocation is to help people grow spiritually, resist their lowest impulses and adopt higher, more compassionate ways. But churchgoers increasingly want pastors to soothe and entertain them. It’s apparent in the theater-style seating and giant projection screens in churches and in mission trips that involve more sightseeing than listening to the local people.

As a result, pastors are constantly forced to choose, as they work through congregants’ daily wish lists in their e-mail and voice mail, between paths of personal integrity and those that portend greater job security. As religion becomes a consumer experience, the clergy become more unhappy and unhealthy…. Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/opinion/08macdonald.html?_r=1

JUST A QUICK QUESTION FOR DEEPAK CHOPRA
Funny video moment
http://bbhchurchconnection.blogspot.com/2010/07/just-quick-question-for-deepak-chopra.html

A PROUD FATHER
I love what the prodigal’s father did when he saw his wayward son from afar off: he ran. You have to realize, in Jesus’ day, men wore robes. A man’s robe would have a slit down the side, so that he could work and not be hindered. Because of the slit, a man would never run or even jog in his robe because if he did, he would expose his leg. According to Jewish law, exposing that part of your body — your upper thigh — was downright shameful. But this loving, patient, forgiving, intimate father didn’t care. I know that pride is one of the seven deadly sins, but I know something about being a dad, and as far as I’m concerned, this was one proud father who couldn’t have cared less that he was making himself look foolish.

God is not just proud of you; he’s crazy about you. You don’t have to earn his admiration with your performance. Everyone else might think you’re a loser, but to God, you’re a beautiful winner; he’s proud of you just because of who you are.”
Craig Groeschel, in his book What is God Really Like?

ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNCOVER PHILISTINE TEMPLE IN GOLIATH’S HOMETOWN
Archaeologists in Israel recently discovered a Philistine temple at the site where the giant warrior Goliath’s hometown would have been.

The temple ruins are located in the ancient city of Gath and dates back to the 10th century B.C., according to Prof. Aren Maeir of Bar Illan University’s Martin Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology. The uncovered temple has a similar architectural image to the one described in the Bible story of Samson who pulled down the Philistine temple of Dagon on himself.

We’re not saying this is the same temple where the story of Samson occurred or that the story even did occur,” said Maeir, who has directed the excavation at the site for the past 13 years, to The Jerusalem Post. “But this gives us a good idea of what image whoever wrote the story would have had of a Philistine temple.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100804/archaeologists-uncover-philistine-temple-in-goliaths-hometown/index.html

SCHULLER HEIR HAS HIGH HOPES
Christian author Carole Lewis stands at the front of the church sharing her tale of woe: bankruptcy, a daughter’s death, a husband’s prostate cancer, a home destroyed by a hurricane. Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman stands nearby, listening attentively.

Neither Coleman nor the congregation seems particularly fazed by Lewis’ litany of tragedies. Instead, they wait for what everyone seems to know is coming: a positive message. And then, as if on cue, Lewis delivers. “God has been so faithful to our family,” Lewis says, as Coleman and others nod in agreement.

It’s an ordinary Sunday at the Crystal Cathedral, the gleaming Orange County megachurch built on a message of transforming misfortune into blessings. The hundreds of parishioners seem to crave the optimism, with some murmuring “make it a great week” as they stream out…. Read this in full at
http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_15699822?source=rss

A NUDGE AND A WHISPER
Have you ever experienced the nudge of the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you able to recognize that God is alive and that He is actively working in every circumstance of your particular situation? Leonard Sweet’s latest book, Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There, encourages all believers to live every moment of their lives in holy awareness of Jesus’ activity all around them. Sweet contends that most people who claim to follow Christ are more adept at gaining attention than at paying attention, furiously beating bushes that advance their personal interests while not paying attention to the burning bushes all around them that showcase God’s activities. When believers begin to focus upon God’s activity all around them rather than on their own needs and desires, they will begin to not only notice what God is doing all around them, but will also be able to interpret and respond…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/5529314614.html

Bill Hybels’ latest book is The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond. It casts a vision for what life can look like when God’s followers choose to hear from heaven as they navigate life on earth. Whispers that arbitrate key decisions, nudges that rescue from dark nights of the soul, promptings that spur on growth, urgings that come by way of another person, inspiration that opens once-glazed-over eyes to the terrible plight people face in this world — through firsthand accounts spanning 57 years of life, more than 30 of which have been spent in the trenches of ministry, Hybels promotes passion in Christ-followers’ hearts for being wide open to hearing from God, and for getting gutsier about doing exactly what he says to do. More information is available at
http://www.thewhisperwall.com

ALMOST 8 MILLION AMERICANS LEAVE CHURCH ANNUALLY; ‘reDISCOVER CHURCH’ BOOKLETS INVITE THEM BACK
The church in the United States is in a general state of decline, with fewer than one in five Americans attending on a regular basis and almost 8 million — 150,000 per week — leaving churches each year. To help invite them back, Outreach Inc. is offering “reDiscover Church,” a 37-page booklet that can help church members reach out to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

The “reDiscover Church” booklet, customizable for individual churches, discusses 10 reasons why people leave church, and why they come back. The booklet also helps equip members for national “Back to Church Sunday” (www.backtochurch.com) Sept. 12, a movement that seeks to reach people who once attended church and invites them to a special Sunday service.

“Tragically, people have left churches across America, but the good news is, many will return if somebody simply invites them,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, who also is a pastor, author and columnist for “Outreach” magazine. “This simple booklet is a powerful resource to bring them back.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/pressreleases/almost_8_million_americans_leave_church_annually_rediscover_church_booklets/

GOD AT THE BOX OFFICE
When the hit movie “The Bucket List” ended and lights came up, the Rev. Bill Humphreys asked for comments. “In the end, the only thing that that really mattered was relationship,” someone said, and the discussion took off.

The discussion took place in “God at the Box Office,” a class led by Humphreys at the Synod of Lakes and Prairies’ Synod School 2010 during the last week in July. Described in its catalog as “a learning and personal enrichment experience,” the annual event takes place each summer at Buena Vista University…. Read this in full at
http://www.pcusa.org/news/2010/8/10/bucket-list/

CONSIDER
Be content to be a child, and let the Father proportion out daily to thee what light, what power, what exercises, what straits, what fears, what troubles He sees fit for thee.”
I Penington

VERSE TO PONDER
Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”
Matthew 19:14

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE
Words: Frances R. Havergal, 1874
Music: Louis J. Hérold, 1830

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/t/m/tmlalib.htm

ON PRAYER
To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”
Karl Barth

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.

Amazing 10-year-old singer
http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/index.ssf/2010/08/was_young_singer_jackie_evanch.html

Religion & Politics 2010
http://features.pewforum.org/politics/index.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.)

Never be afraid to do something new. Remember that amateurs built the ark and professionals built the Titanic.
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!
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.

Trackbacks

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: