CONNECTIONS NEWS – 02/06/2011

For week of February 6, 2011
Issue 342

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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“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:12-13

CONSIDER
“All the persons of faith I know are sinners, doubters, uneven performers. We are secure not because we are sure of ourselves but because we trust that God is sure of us.”
Eugene H. Peterson

AARON RODGERS, OTHER PACKERS, LOOKING TO ‘FOLLOW JESUS’ EXAMPLE’
NFL experts and newspaper headline writers have been quick to label Green Bay starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers the “Leader of the Pack.”

Something about 4,712 yards passing and 34 touchdowns, and leading the Packers to the verge of their first Super Bowl title in more than a decade will do that for you.

But Rodgers made it clear in Feb. 1’s jam-packed Super Bowl XLV Media Day he only wants to be a leader of God’s pack when it comes to influencing others to see his faith in Jesus Christ…. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34574

FOOTBALL FUN, BUT ISN’T ‘WHO WE ARE,’ STEELERS COACH TOMLIN SAYS
The Christian conversion of Pittsburgh Steelers’ third-year offensive lineman Tony Hills saw the team’s practice facility used for something unusual this season — a baptism. And that on a team that needed new life to begin this storied season.

“I appreciated everybody who came in because it was a big moment for me after I was saved,” Hills told Baptist Press during the annual Super Bowl media day on Feb 1 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “I had not been baptized before, obviously, and it was something I needed to do. Baptism stands for leaving the old ways behind and coming up anew. And I knew that’s exactly what I was trying to do. That is what our season is about this year.

“In life everybody is different, but to know that some people on this team share the same values is a great blessing.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34575

A KINGDOM OF PARADOX
“It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn’t want our success; he wants us. He doesn’t demand our achievements; he demands our obedience. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self.”
Charles W. Colson

OBAMA ELABORATES ON HIS CHRISTIAN FAITH AT PRAYER BREAKFAST
President Barack Obama gave a personal speech at the National Prayer Breakfast Feb. 3 reflecting on his faith, Scripture readings, and prayer life. The president used his appearance at the annual prayer breakfast to explain exactly when he “came to know Jesus Christ for myself and embrace him as my lord and savior” (5 minutes into the video). He also reflected on how his faith has sustained him over the last couple of years.

While Obama has made public mention of his faith in the past, this particular speech shared in detail how he approaches prayer and studies Scripture. The tone of the address was a deeply personal one.

The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event that has been attended by every US president since Eisenhower. Guests from over 130 nations attended. Watch the speech at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/03/obama-national-prayer-breakfast-video_n_817975.html
a video clip is also at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/03/obama-to-deliver-major-speech-on-personal-faith-white-house-official-says/

Read coverage “Obama Shares Personal Faith Stories at Prayer Breakfast”
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20110203/obama-says-daughters-godmother-organizes-prayer-groups-for-him/

HISTORIC LAUSANNE DECLARATION CALLS WORLD’S EVANGELICALS TO ACTION
The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization released Jan. 28 Part 2 of its call to action to world evangelicals. More than 4,000 evangelicals from 198 countries met in Cape Town, South Africa, in October for the Congress. Part 1 of the document emphasized the call to love because God first loved us. Part 2 builds on discussions at Cape Town, naming the most important priorities for evangelism worldwide. It makes a number of specific calls, including the call to proclaim the truth through word and deed, to be ethical in evangelism, and to return to “humility, integrity and simplicity”. Part of this return includes renouncing false gods and idols, including the idolatry of “disordered sexuality,” power, success and greed. The statement also calls for the worldwide church to unite. “A divided church has no message for a divided world. Our failure to live in reconciled unity is a major obstacle to authenticity and effectiveness in mission,” it states…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/historic.lausanne.declaration.calls.worlds.evangelicals.to.action/27431.htm

PARKING YOUR THOUGHTS IN A GOOD SPOT
“The reality of my dad’s abandonment created some unhealthy habits that continued to linger in my life. Emptiness has a way of demanding to be filled. And when I couldn’t figure out how to fill what my heart was lacking, my stomach was more than willing to offer a few suggestions.

“[I needed] a healthy thought to dwell on where [my dad is] concerned – one of those good thoughts the Bible tells us to think about: ‘Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). I like to call this “parking my mind in a better spot.’

“It’s so easy to park our minds in bad spots. To dwell and rehash and wish things were different. But to think on hard things keeps us in hard spots and only serves to deepen our feelings of emotional emptiness. This is where pity parties are held and we all know pity parties demand an abundance of high-calorie delights, eaten and eaten some more. But pity parties … leave behind a deeper emptiness than we started with in the first place.

“What about you? Do you have something from your past that causes emotional emptiness? As a first step toward healing, can you think of one thing good from this past situation? Or maybe something good that has happened despite the pain from the event? If not, ask God to give you some good place to park your mind with this draining issue from your past.”
Lysa TerKeurst in the book Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food

FOR EGYPT’S CHRISTIANS, CONDITIONS COULD WORSEN — OR EVEN IMPROVE
The turmoil in Egypt threatens to unleash chaos in a country long ruled by a dictator where militant Islam has been growing for years — and the outcome is difficult to predict, two Southern Baptist observers said Jan. 31.

Massive protests, at times violent, have rocked Egypt’s major cities for nearly a week, partly inspired by successful democracy protests in neighboring Tunisia that drove that country’s strongman from power. Over the weekend, police vanished from the cities and allowed mobs to pillage and loot at will, according to media reports. Gangs of armed men attacked at least four jails Jan. 30, freeing hundreds of Muslim radicals and criminals.

While some demonstrators in Egypt have called for democracy, most are venting their anger over poverty, joblessness, food prices, corruption and police brutality. The Muslim Brotherhood, a hard-line Islamist organization of 600,000 members, also has organized demonstrations.

“Islamic factions of various stripes are interacting with secular and democratic groups with common immediate goals in mind — overthrow the tyrant,” said Mike Edens, professor of Islamic studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. “The common energy of youthful idealism, awareness of the injustice of the status quo, and impatience with structure has caused these and other factions to cooperate for immediate outcomes with disregard for who will lead after the dust settles.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34553

EGYPT: INTEGRAL TO CHRISTIANITY’S RISE
Calls for a change in leadership swelled into demonstrations and violent clashes in Egypt, two weeks after Tunisia’s government toppled amid revolution. Followers of Christ in Egypt are waiting prayerfully to see what implications these events will have on the spread of the gospel in the region.

Egypt is the Arab world’s most populous nation, with nearly 80 million people. The Arab Republic of Egypt is transcontinental, with a land bridge between Africa and Asia. Egypt long has been a pivotal place. It was from Egypt that God delivered the Israelites out of exodus and on Egypt’s Mount Sinai that He gave the Ten Commandments to Moses.

The history of Christianity in Egypt has been one of both tribulation and blessing. Since its beginning, Christianity in Egypt has been influential in shaping doctrine and the way believers follow Christ.

TIMELINE

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