CONNECTIONS – 11/21/2010

For week of November 21, 2010
Issue 331

The weekly newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
Our mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others.

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“Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.”
Psalm 119:73

CONSIDER
“One must always be aware, to notice — even though the cost of noticing is to become responsible.”
Thylias Moss

THANKSGIVING ARTICLES
http://www.christianitytoday.com/holidays/thanksgiving/

HOW TO KEEP OURSELVES AND OUR TEAMS FOCUSED ON THE RIGHT THINGS
What kind of ambition does success require? By any measure, Tony Dungy has known success. As a defensive back with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he won his first Super Bowl in 1978. He went on to coach in Tampa Bay, and later Indianapolis where in 2007 he became the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl championship.

Since retiring from football in 2009, Dungy’s ambitions continue. He has served as a sports commentator with NBC and used his influence to mentor young adults. His commitment to Christ is evident in his two books, Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance and The Mentor Leader (Tyndale).

Leadership senior editor Skye Jethani spoke with Dungy about how calling and ambition translate on and off the field.

Q: When coaching football, you obviously want players to have ambition. But what does bad ambition look like?

A: You want guys who are motivated, who want to be the best. That’s the easy part. Translating that into teamwork is what takes energy. They have to keep their personal ambitions secondary to the team’s goals. Bad ambition is when their goals are put ahead of the team’s…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/communitylife/visiondirection/gameplans.html


HOW THE CHRISTIAN FAITH WILL BE A SUBVERSIVE — AND LIBERATING — INFLUENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
by Philip Yancey
Early in 2009, Philip Yancey went on a speaking tour of the Middle East, primarily in the United Arab Emirates and other small countries along the Arabian (or Persian) Gulf. In Bahrain he met in a backyard with 30 people from Saudi Arabia, all expatriates. Most of them lived in compounds built by the oil companies, and all had chilling stories about life in one of the world’s most conservative Muslim countries. The hosts asked the caterers to step inside as Yancey talked, fearing they would be reported to Saudi authorities. Yancey is the author of many books, including What Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith That Matters (Hachette/FaithWords), from which this article is excerpted and condensed.

If someone had stood here in Julius Caesar’s day and predicted the decline of the mighty Roman Empire and the triumph of an upstart religion founded by a Galilean peasant, he would have been judged a lunatic. As would anyone who stood in the Middle East five centuries later and predicted the downfall of Christianity, by then dominant in places like Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Yet here we are in the 21st century meeting rather furtively in a backyard in an Islamic state, hoping that none of the hired help are eavesdropping. As a visitor, I cannot help wondering why this part of the world, the birthplace and once the center of the Christian faith, became the region most resistant to it.

I get one possible clue from the French sociologist Jacques Ellul who, looking around him at the modern world, noted a paradoxical trend: As the Christian faith permeates society, it tends to produce values that contradict the gospel. I sometimes test his theory while traveling by asking foreigners, “When I say the words United States, what first comes to mind?” Invariably, I get one of three responses…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/november/20.30.html


KIERKEGAARD’S SPIRITUAL WRITINGS
by Søren Kierkegaard
‘Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.’ But what does this mean? What am I to do? What kind of striving is it of which it can be said that it seeks or desires the kingdom of God? Ought I to get a position corresponding to my abilities and powers in order to bring this about? No, you are first to seek the kingdom of God. Ought I, then, to give all my fortune to the poor? No, you are first to seek the kingdom of God. But does this, then, mean that, in a sense, there is nothing for me to do? Quite right — there is, in a sense, nothing. In the very deepest sense, you are to make yourself nothing, to become nothing before God, and learn to keep silent — and it is in this silence that you begin to seek what must come first: the kingdom of God…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/november/19.68.html


WALKING THE WALK
“‘So walk in him.’ (Colossians 2:6 ESV) If someone walks in Christ, he will act as Christ would act. If Christ is in him, his hopes, love, and joy — his complete life — will reflect the image of Jesus, and others will say of him, ‘He is like his Master; he lives like Jesus Christ.’

“Walking also signifies progress. ‘So walk in him’ — grow from grace to grace … Walking implies continuance, for a true believer must have a perpetual abiding in Christ. How many Christians think they should spend time with Jesus in the morning and evening but may then give their hearts to the world the rest of the day? That, however, is a meager existence, for we should always be with Him, walking in His steps and doing His will. Walking also implies habit or routine. When we refer to a person’s walk and conversation, we mean his habits and the general tenor of his life … We must stay close to Him, cling to Him, never let go of Him – ‘live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28) in Him.

“‘As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him’ (Col. 2:6 ESV). Persevere in the same way in which you began your walk, when Christ Jesus was … the source of your life, the motive behind your actions, and the joy of your soul. May He be the same to you until your life ends, when you ‘walk through the valley of the shadow of death’ (Ps. 23:4) and ultimately ‘share your master’s happiness’ (Matt. 25:23), entering into the ‘Sabbath-rest for the people of God’ (Heb. 4:9).”
Charles Spurgeon & Jim Reimann, in the book Morning by Morning: The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon

ASLAN IS ON THE MOVE… AND WE SHOULD BE TOO
by Luis Palau
This Christmas, 20th Century Fox and Walden Media will release one of C.S. Lewis’ most famous stories, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It’s a powerful story that’s not so different from our own journey—discovering the risks, surprises, and revelations of life with Jesus Christ.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third of Lewis’ seven-book Chronicles of Narnia series. His books have sold over 100 million copies in over 50 different languages.

I remember reading the Chronicles of Narnia series to my boys when they were younger. They loved them. And so did I. I particularly love the line when Mr. Beaver turns to the kids and — with a twinkle in his eye — tells them, “Aslan is on the move!” That’s exactly right! Aslan — Lewis’ depiction of Jesus Christ — is indeed on the move! …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Home/Christian%20Living%20Features/11640600/


BILLY GRAHAM GLORIFIES GOD FOR 60 YEARS OF MINISTRY
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which officially marked 60 years of ministry in September, celebrated Nov. 16 with a special dinner featuring Billy Graham, music and program director Cliff Barrows and soloist George Beverly Shea.

Barrows, 87, and Shea, 101, traveled the world with the evangelist for more than 50 years, leading music in front of millions at Billy Graham Crusades.

The invitation-only dinner provided an opportunity for family and close personal friends to reminisce about the past 60 years of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world, but also to look ahead to what God has in store for the ministry in the coming years…. Read this in full at
http://www.billygraham.org/articlepage.asp?articleid=7505

IT TAKES A MOVEMENT: THE NEXT STEPS
by Jim Wallis
Neither the left nor the right has the answers to our most pressing problems, though each will continue to say that it does. So we have to focus on the spiritual and moral values that bring us together.

It is always appropriate and necessary for the faith community to question and challenge political leadership on the biggest moral issues — indeed it is our prophetic vocation to do so. That means lifting up the now growing rates of poverty in America and around the world, even when both parties only want to talk about the middle class. The plight of undocumented immigrants and their families unites almost all sectors of the faith community. The younger generation of the faithful is insisting on the urgency of “creation care” of the environment and the threat of climate change, especially to the poorest people around the globe. People of faith across the political spectrum also want to make serious progress on reducing the number of abortions in America — not with symbolic amendments or criminalizing desperate and tragic choices — but by preventing unwanted pregnancies and supporting low-income women. There is much work to be done in promoting healthy families; not by scapegoating gays and lesbians or bullying gay teens, but by creating policies that build a culture of support for families. Increased numbers of religious leaders are also ready to challenge the ethics of endless and failed wars of occupation, which have yet to seriously reduce the real threats of terrorism but have killed too many people…. Read this in full at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-wallis/it-takes-a-movement-the-n_b_784142.html


NATIONAL BIBLE WEEK
Nov. 21-28
http://www.nationalbible.org/national-bible-week/
http://www.christianitytoday.com/holidays/nbw/


YOUVERSION CELEBRATES TEN MILLION DOWNLOADS
YouVersion, makers of a modern application that increases engagement with the Bible across mobile devices, reports over 10 million unique mobile devices have installed the free Bible App. The app has been growing rapidly since its launch in 2008, currently at a rate of nearly one million new users per month. It remains steadily in the top 5 downloaded apps in the reference category on the Apple App Store, and is by wide margin the number-one downloaded Bible app in the world…. Read this in full at
http://www.covchurch.org/cov/news/item8046
http://www.youversion.com/webcast
http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2010/11/prweb4793244.htm
Also see “Bible App Users Challenged to Spend 1 Billion Minutes Reading the Bible in January”
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2010/s10110125.htm


WYCLIFFE RAISES $250M FOR LAST 2,000 BIBLE TRANSLATIONS
The world’s largest Bible translation organization has already raised nearly $250 million, or one-fourth of its $1 billion goal, for the campaign to translate the Bible into every language by 2025…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20101117/wycliffe-raises-250-million-for-last-2000-bible-translations/


NEW TWITTER SERVICE SENDS OUT BIBLE VERSES HOURLY
The Bible Works (http://thebibleworks.oi.com/esv/mat/1.html) has released an application on Twitter that allows people to receive Bible passages via texts or tweets throughout the day…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20101118/new-twitter-service-sends-out-bible-verses-hourly/


HOW THE BIBLE STILL SHAPES THE LANGUAGE
In the past week or so, anyone following the news might have read that Jon Stewart is “a thorn in the side of politicians”; that Senator Harry Reid of Nevada won reelection “by the skin of his teeth”; and that people in the newspaper industry “see the writing on the wall.”

That well-informed reader wouldn’t have been especially surprised to hear that these phrases all come from the same source, the Bible. It has long been an article of faith among speakers of English that biblical language — especially that of the Authorized, or King James, version, published in 1611 — has been immensely influential. The KJV, wrote linguist David Crystal in 2004, “has contributed far more to English in the way of idiomatic or quasi-proverbial expressions than any other literary source.”

But just how much was that “far more”? Not even Crystal knew, and with the KJV about to celebrate its 400th year, he set out to explore and tabulate its contributions to everyday language. Now, in “Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language,” he has some answers. The short one is “257” — that’s the number of familiar idioms, from “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis) to the whore of Babylon (Revelation), that he credits to the stature and popularity of the King James Bible…. Read this in full at
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/11/07/what_king_james_wrought/?page=1


LAST-MINUTE FINALIST WINS FIRST PLACE IN NATIONAL BIBLE BEE CONTEST
Liesl Lawrence of Georgetown, Texas, was named the 2010 National Bible Bee champion after she was allowed to join the senior division finals as the sixth contestant.

Minutes before this year’s senior finals at the Marriott Renaissance Convention Center Hotel near Chicago, judges announced that Lawrence was supposed to be the fifth finalist but she had been disqualified due to an error in judges’ scoring materials. She was added back in after organizers of the event discovered that some of the judges’ scoring materials did not reflect different variances of the Kings James Version that were circulated by the National Bible Bee. Despite the last-minute announcement, Lawrence gave the top performance, receiving the first place crystal trophy and a cash prize of $100,000.

The national competition tests contestants on their written and oral Bible knowledge and ability to memorize scripture based on their favorite translation. Winners at the local level go on to complete in the nationals, which consist of the Preliminary Oral Round and Written Test Round and the Semi-Finals Challenge Round that eventually lead up to the Final Challenge Round…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20101114/last-minute-finalist-wins-first-place-in-national-bible-bee-contest/


RECEIVING DAILY BREAD
“Christian churches love to preach about the need for boldness — and they are not wrong for doing so — but boldness is not listed as evidence of God’s presence. Jesus does not tell his disciples to go out and be bold for him … Having delivered them from earn-your-way performance religion, he does not then require them to live by such rules. He advises them, instead, to join him in the celebration of the bread and the wine, to wait for power from his Father, and to live as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. Jesus wants men strong, wise, and gentle, apparently…

“In the peaceable kingdom, performance is set aside for a willingness to receive, and because receiving goes against our native philosophy of life, many men miss the benefits God has reserved for them. ‘I’m not going to take nuthin’ from nobody’ isn’t going to work at the point of your need, and it certainly isn’t something you hear coming from Jesus to describe life in his kingdom. That little illusive door through which one must pass, which requires receiving a gift instead of giving or earning one, is a stumbling block of enormous proportion to a self-made man or a self-centered church…

“[In] our life together, we must exchange performance words such as win, earn, success, and loss for life-giving words such as receive, accept, love, and celebrate. The words by which our spiritual fathers invite us to participate in the life of Jesus at the table of his presence describe the prevailing way of life in his kingdom: ‘I also give to you that which I have received from the Lord.’ A man is set free to live when he realizes he cannot, and is not required to, give something he has not received, that the source from which he can receive is unlimited. Jesus embeds in his teaching this concept of a continual flow of life from God to man when he taught his disciples to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ We celebrate the kingdom as the gift of his daily presence.”
Wes Yoder in his book Bond of Brothers: Connecting with Other Men Beyond Work, Weather & Sports

IS THERE A “REFORMED” MOVEMENT IN AMERICAN CHURCHES?
Some observers and journalists have described a movement among Reformed churches, pointing to prominent Reformed pastors and new Reformed church associations as a significant trend. A new study from Barna Group explores whether the so-called “New Calvinism” has, as yet, affected the allegiances of pastors and whether Reformed churches are growing.

For the past decade the Barna Group has been tracking the percentage of Protestant pastors who identify their church as “Calvinist or Reformed.” Currently, about three out of every 10 Protestant leaders say this phrase accurately describes their church (31%). This proportion is statistically unchanged from a decade ago (32%). In fact, an examination of a series of studies among active clergy during the past decade indicates that the proportion that embraces the Reformed label has remained flat over the last 10 years.

Pastors who embrace the term “Wesleyan or Arminian” currently account for 32% of the Protestant church landscape — the same as those who claim to be Reformed. The proportion of Wesleyan/Arminian pastors is down slightly from 37% in 2000. There has been less consistency related to this label during the past decade, with the tracking figures ranging from a low of 26% to a high of 37%…. Read this in full at
http://www.barna.org/faith-spirituality/447-reformed-movement-in-american-churches


IS THE SABBATH STILL REQUIRED FOR CHRISTIANS?
by Thomas R. Schreiner
Believers today continue to dispute whether the Sabbath is required. The Sabbath was given to Israel as a covenant sign, and Israel was commanded to rest on the seventh day. We see elsewhere in the Old Testament that covenants have signs, so that the sign of the Noahic covenant is the rainbow (Gen. 9:8-17) and the sign of the Abrahamic covenant is circumcision (Gen. 17). The paradigm for the Sabbath was God’s rest on the seventh day of creation (Gen. 2:1-3). So, too, Israel was called upon to rest from work on the seventh day (Exod. 20:8-11; 31:12-17). What did it mean for Israel not to work on the Sabbath?

The Sabbath was certainly a day for social concern, for rest was mandated for all Israelites, including their children, slaves, and even animals (Deut. 5:14). It was also a day to honor and worship the Lord. Special burnt offerings were offered to the Lord on the Sabbath (Num. 28:9-10). Psalm 92 is a Sabbath song that voices praise to God for his steadfast love and faithfulness. Israel was called upon to observe the Sabbath in remembrance of the Lord’s work in delivering them as slaves from Egyptian bondage (Deut. 5:15). Thus, the Sabbath is tied to Israel’s covenant with the Lord, for it celebrates her liberation from slavery. The Sabbath, then, is the sign of the covenant between the Lord and Israel (Exod. 31:12-17; Ezek. 20:12-17). The Lord promised great blessing to those who observed the Sabbath (Isa. 56:2, 6; 58:13-14). Breaking the Sabbath command was no trivial matter, for the death penalty was inflicted upon those who intentionally violated it (Exod. 31:14-15; 35:2; Num. 15:32-36), though collecting manna on the Sabbath before the Mosaic law was codified did not warrant such a punishment (Exod. 16:22-30). Israel regularly violated the Sabbath — the sign of the covenant — and this is one of the reasons the people were sent into exile (Jer. 17:21-27; Ezek. 20:12-24)…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Home/Christian%20Living%20Features/11639759/


WILL THE RELATIVELY NEW “EVANGELISTIC MODEL” PRACTICED AT THE GLOBAL FAITH FORUM CATCH ON?
by Mark Galli in Keller, Texas
One session of the Global Faith Forum — a conference for Muslims, Jews, and Christians — began with everyone singing, “Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had father Abraham … ,” that old children’s chorus with body motions. There’s nothing uniquely Christian, Muslim, or Jewish about it (though it’s uniquely evangelical in its silliness!). But the prominent evangelical standing next to me did not join in, and later told me, “I just couldn’t decide if singing that song with Muslims and Jews constituted joint worship, and I’m not convinced we can worship together.”

Such was the tension that many evangelicals experienced at the forum, held at NorthWood Church in Keller, Texas, November 12-14.

Bob Roberts, pastor of NorthWood Church and catalyst of the forum, opened the event by emphasizing his own beliefs:

“I am an evangelical Christian. I believe in the Bible,” he said to a group of about 500 who had gathered the first night (eventually over 600 attended the event held Nov. 12-14). “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died for my sins, that he will come again.”

Then he added that he was not interested in a lowest-common denominator faith, or “inter-religious” dialogue. For him “inter-religious” means dumbing down everybody’s beliefs to some bland, sentimental, global civic religion. Instead he organized this conference to be “multi-faith,” so that people could discuss openly and frankly the differences of the three Abrahamic faiths…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/novemberweb-only/55-21.0.html


VERSE TO PONDER
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14

CONSIDER
“Earth’s crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees, takes off his shoes –- the rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

DAYS OF DISAPPOINTMENT
by Seth Perry
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported last July that a local woman had placed ads on ten bus-stop benches alerting passersby that Jesus Christ will return to earth on May 21, 2011. The woman is a believer in the eschatological calculations of one Harold Camping, the 89-year-old preacher behind “worldwide Christian ministry” Family Radio, whose analysis of the Bible further proposes that the end of the world will follow five months after Christ’s return, on October 21, 2011.

Camping is hardly the first Christian to fixate on predicting the end of time, but his designation of precise dates in the near future does put him in a special class. Countless Christian figures — beginning with Jesus — have said that the world as we know it would end “soon.” Some have given vague predictions in the more or less distant future, such as Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism, recorded in his thirties that a seemingly annoyed God had told him that the end would not come before his 85th year and so to quit asking. But only a brave few have called out specific dates in the near term. In the American context, the most well-known of these is William Miller, who in the spring of 1832 began spreading the word that Christ would return around 1843. Intrigued audiences pushed Miller to be more specific, and he eventually pinpointed the year between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. When March of 1844 passed without incident, a follower of Miller’s went back to the drawing board and came up with October 22, 1844, the date that became famous as the “Day of Disappointment.” …. Read this in full at
http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/publications/sightings/archive_2010/1021.shtml


BAPTISTS HELPS HAITIAN AMPUTEE SOCCER TEAM
Helping a team of amputee soccer players get to their World Cup venue might not seem like disaster relief, but Dick Talley with Texas Baptist Men said that is exactly what it is. “We see this as an extension of our disaster-relief ministry,” Talley said. “In Haiti, if you have [a choice between feeding] a dog and a handicapped person, you feed the dog because it has value. How do we change the way the people of Haiti look at an amputee or handicapped person? We’re trying to do that through sport. In the eyes of the people of Haiti, we are elevating the value of these people.” ….Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5795/53/


SPEAKER DECRIES U.S. ‘POLYAMORY’ CULTURE
The deteriorating moral state of America can be blamed on a rising culture of polyamory, a culture that endorses serial relationships rather than lifelong, monogamous relationships, said Patrick Fagan in a lecture at the Family Research Council.

“The culture of the traditional family — it is now in intense competition, even at war,” said Fagan, senior fellow and director of FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute.

In the lecture, Fagan presented examples of how the culture of polyamory has manifested itself in American society. Polyamory been able to “survive and thrive” by overtaking four principal areas of American life: welfare programs, childhood education, sex education and health programs. Once the polyamorous culture penetrated these areas, it gained the advantage over a monogamous culture, Fagan said….Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34096


KINGS OF CONTROVERSY
Was the Kingdom of David and Solomon a glorious empire — or just a little cow town? It depends on which archaeologist you ask….Read this in full at
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2010/12/david-and-solomon/draper-text


GAS IN THE HOLY LAND
Using the Bible as its guide, Texas-based energy company Zion Oil and Gas has searched for oil in the Holy Land for a decade. The company uses a map of the 12 ancient tribes of Israel and the biblical assertion — “the foot of Asher to be dipped in oil on the head of Joseph” — as an unlikely guide to help it decide where to drill.

Sitting beneath an 18-storey rig in northern Israel, Zion’s CEO Richard Rinberg translates that reference by pointing to an area on the map where the territory of Asher — long and thin and shaped like a leg — once pushed into the land that belonged to Joseph’s sons.

“It’s exactly where we are,” said Rinberg, a good-humoured Orthodox Jew with a background in accounting and a belief that this biblical prophecy is backed by concrete scientific data. Founded by John Brown, a Christian Zionist who believes the Bible prophesied the discovery of oil in Israel, Zion is just one of a pack of energy companies that has spent years, even decades, surveying and drilling around Israel and its territorial waters. Like many, Zion has yet to find commercial amounts of oil or gas…. Read this in full at
http://af.reuters.com/article/egyptMarketNews/idAFIndia-52841920101111


WHY IRAQI CHRISTIANS ARE RUNNING SCARED — IN SWEDEN
With numerous attacks against Iraq’s Christians in recent weeks — including a Halloween day massacre in a Baghdad church, which left 52 dead — the country’s religious minority fears for its survival within the boundaries of the Middle Eastern nation. Yet, a long way from their native land, many Iraqi Christians are also living in terror in a far more serene place: Stockholm.

Swedish immigration officials have been deporting Iraqi refugees to Baghdad on flights about every three weeks, declaring that some of them have no legitimate claim to political asylum in Sweden. That includes Iraqi Christians — a category that does not automatically imply a risk of persecution, according to Swedish guidelines…. Read this in full at
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2031275,00.html?xid=rss-topstories


MERKEL URGES GERMANS: STAND UP FOR CHRISTIAN VALUES
Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans debating Muslim integration to stand up more for Christian values, saying 11/15 the country suffered not from “too much Islam” but “too little Christianity.”

Addressing her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, she said she took the current public debate in Germany on Islam and immigration very seriously. As part of this debate, she said last month that multiculturalism there had utterly failed.

Some of her conservative allies have gone further, calling for an end to immigration from “foreign cultures” — a reference to Muslim countries like Turkey — and more pressure on immigrants to integrate into German society.

Merkel told the CDU annual conference in Karlsruhe that the debate about immigration “especially by those of the Muslim faith” was an opportunity for the ruling party to stand up confidently for its convictions…. Read this in full at
http://in.reuters.com/article/idINTRE6AE3K520101115


CROSSROADS OF ANTIQUITY CAN’T DECIDE ON NEW PATH
This small town, shaded by date palms on a bend of the Euphrates River, has been revered as a holy place for centuries — by Jews, by Muslims and, for periods of peace, at least, by both. “The old democracy,” as the local police chief put it.

Kifl, in what was once Babylonia, has survived millenniums of war and natural disasters, exile and expulsion, the fall of empires, and the ravages of a troubled modernity. It embodies Iraq’s rich, layered past and might yet represent its future — if the country’s leaders could stop quarreling over it and its religious provenance.

In the center of town — and in the middle of a dispute — is the tomb of Ezekiel, the biblical prophet who preached to the Jews in captivity under Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BC. Somewhere near here is where, according to tradition and faith, he saw his visions of God.

Leaders of the town and the province now have a more earthly vision, too: tourism…. Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/world/middleeast/20ezekiel.html

VÁCLAV HAVEL DENOUNCES ‘ATHEIST CIVILISATION’
Václav Havel, the Czech playwright and politician, has attacked the emptiness and ‘atheism’ of consumer society. He made his comments in a speech condemning “the first atheist civilisation,” which “has lost its connection with the infinite and with eternity.” Havel is not often thought of as a defender of religion, and the Czech republic is by some measures the most completely dechristianized part of Europe. But he means by atheism the kind of insatiable proud greed which mashes both interior and exterior landscapes into something as homogenous as mechanically recovered chicken. It is a vision of the consumer society as hell…. Read this in full at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2010/oct/13/religion-atheism


CONSIDER
“What other people think of me is becoming less and less important; what they think of Jesus because of me is critical.”
Cliff Richard

VERSE TO PONDER
“The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”
Psalm 25:14-15

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: COME, YE THANKFUL PEOPLE, COME
Words: Henry Alford, 1844
Music: George J. Elvey, 1858

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/c/o/comeytpc.htm

ON PRAYER
“[Praying] demands that you take to the road again and again, leaving your house and looking forward to a new land for yourself and your [fellow human]. This is why praying demands poverty, that is, the readiness to live a life in which you have nothing to lose so that you always begin afresh.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, With Open Hands

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 us to add you to our prayer chain 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.

Watch helmet-mounted camera as a man climbs a 1700 foot tower straight up
http://www.koreus.com/video/reparer-antenne-540m.html
Amazing photos of this year’s annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/11/hajj_2010.html
and
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/16/views-from-the-hajj-photo_n_784408.html#183804
Movember (the month formerly known as November) is an annual charity event where men grow moustaches to change the face of men’s health
http://us.movember.com/
All links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply endorsement by this ministry.

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

All I want is a warm bed, a kind word, and unlimited power.
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

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