CONNECTIONS NEWS – 03/27/2011

For week of March 27, 2011
Issue 349

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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“Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Isaiah 46:4

CONSIDER
“Love has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. This is what love looks like.”
Augustine

‘FORGET PIZZA PARTIES,’ TEENS TELL CHURCHES
“Bye-bye church. We’re busy.” That’s the message teens are giving churches today.

Only about one in four teens now participate in church youth groups, considered the hallmark of involvement; numbers have been flat since 1999. Other measures of religiosity — prayer, Bible reading and going to church — lag as well, according to Barna Group, a Ventura, Calif., evangelical research company. This all has churches canceling their summer teen camps and youth pastors looking worriedly toward the fall, when school-year youth groups kick in.

“Talking to God may be losing out to Facebook,” says Barna president David Kinnaman…. Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-08-11-teenchurch11_ST_N.htm

STUDY: YOUNG ADULTS FIRM IN FAITH, MORE LIKELY FAT BY 50
Uh-oh. All those pizzas luring young adults to church activities may have unintended consequences. The devil may be in the pepperoni: Folks who stick with church for years often wind up fatter than their unchurched peers.

Young adults who go to a religious event such as worship or Bible study at least once a week are 50% more likely to become obese by middle age as young adults with no religious involvement, according to new Northwestern Medicine research based on tracking 3,433 men and women for 18 years…. Read this in full at
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2011/03/obese-fat-religious-young-adults/1

ROB BELL PUNCHES BACK AGAINST CLAIMS OF HERESY
For two weeks while controversy swirled around him, Pastor Rob Bell stayed silent. His critics said he was playing fast and loose with heaven and hell, salvation, and damnation. The eternity of souls was on the line, they said.

All this was over Bell’s new book, “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.” Critics tore into it before the book even hit store shelves on Tuesday, some going so far as to label Bell a heretic. The controversy pushed the book into the third spot on Amazon’s sales ranking, virtually assuring the book a place on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

On March 14, dressed in black and sporting his trademark black-rimmed glasses, Bell strolled quietly into the auditorium of the New York Ethical Culture Society. This was his chance to hit back…. Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/19/rob-bell-punches-back-against-claims-of-heresy/

MOHLER CRITIQUES ROB BELL’S NEW BOOK AS ‘VELVET HELL’
A Southern Baptist seminary president suggested that Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins could have been alternately titled “Velvet Hell,” a play on Bell’s 2005 book Velvet Elvis that offered “a fresh take on Jesus” by one of the country’s most influential evangelical pastors.

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said during a 90-minute panel discussion on campus March 17 that after reading Bell’s much-anticipated Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, he toyed with several ideas about how to sum up its message.

“One of the ways I thought of describing it was ‘Velvet Hell,’ just because there is kind of a cushioning of the whole idea,” Mohler quipped.

Mohler said any discussion of God’s love must be in the context of God’s character and the acts by which God demonstrates his love. “The Bible says categorically, unconditionally that God is love, but the Bible also says categorically, unconditionally that God is holy,” Mohler said. “When we teach theology we have to remind ourselves that we are not talking about a God that is divisible into a righteous part and a just part, a merciful part and a gracious part. Rather he is — to use the language that theologians have used for centuries — he is infinite in all of his perfections.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/6235/53/

ROB BELL’S BRIDGE TOO FAR
Rob Bell loves Jesus, and he wants as many people as possible to do the same. Perhaps this book will help. Indeed, there are passages in Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (HarperOne), that should give the most stubborn pagan pause. Bell is a pastor with a substantial following not only at his Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, MI (with some 10,000 in weekly attendance) but all across North America. And he is at his usual best here, casting fresh light on biblical truths, engaging readers with the compelling metaphor, turning the arresting phrase, and reminding all that the love of God is more powerful and sweeping than we can imagine.

Along the way, he raises a host of theological issues upon which the proclamation of the gospel as good news hinges. Bell also proposes solutions, and it’s those proposals that raise other questions not just for evangelicals, but for anyone who wants to see more and more people follow Jesus…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/april/lovewins.html

Also see “Evangelical Annihilationism in Review” by James I. Packer
http://www.the-highway.com/annihilationism_Packer.html

WHAT WOULD YOU ASK GOD FOR?
“Very early in Solomon’s career God asked Solomon a question … Solomon, who can have anything he wants, asks for wisdom. God answers that request by putting on the table the things Solomon did not ask for.

“God: Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have [you] asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

“Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for — both wealth and honor — so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life. -Kings 3:5-14

“Tragically, what Solomon asked for and how he acted were poles apart. Solomon brilliantly asked for wisdom, but Solomon acted like a fool as he aged. Solomon’s dream became unsustainable and it unraveled. He was the Enron of his day.

“It’s easier to ask for wisdom than to live it.
The God.Life is a life shaped by wisdom.
Wisdom isn’t just for 50- and 60- and 70-somethings.
Wisdom is now.
Chasing wisdom now creates the Kingdom.Life now.
Wisdom makes us slow down to ask the right questions.
Wisdom is the hardest life to live.
Give your One.Life to wisdom…

We need to slow down in life and let wisdom have its way with us. If we want our big dreams to become sustainable, and if we want to end our lives well, we will need to listen to the wise. And perhaps thinking for a moment of what attracts you to Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings could help you refocus on the value of wisdom.”
Scot McKnight in One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow

CHURCHES NEED TO BE AWARE OF ‘WOLVES’ IN THEIR MIDST: EMBEZZLEMENTS ARE UNCOVERED NEARLY WEEKLY
Churches and their members are all too vulnerable to con men and “scamsters,” and those who prey on them are like “wolves” in the midst of lambs. They know how to work the flock.

“Scam artists who want to fleece a church flock know that attracting the shepherd will always lead to success,” writes Pat Huddleston, formerly with the enforcement division of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, now in private practice. He writes about it in the March issue of Church Executive, a business magazine for larger and megachurches.

“At the very least, the scam artist hopes that a warm relationship with the pastor, even if he does not invest, will lead him to vouch for the honesty and trustworthiness of the scamster when members of the congregation ask the pastor’s opinion,” Huddleston says…. Read this in full at
http://churchexecutive.com/archives/churches-need-to-be-aware-of-wolves-in-their-midst

7 BETTER QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK IN THE MIDST OF ADVERSITY
by Michael Hyatt
If you’re going through a difficult, uncertain time, here are seven better questions you can ask yourself and your team:
1. What if this isn’t the end but a new beginning?
2. What if the answer to my prayer is just over the next hill?
3. What if this is necessary in order for me to be prepared for the next important chapter in my life?
4. What if God knows exactly what I need at this particular time?
5. What if God is speaking to me through means I would not have chosen for a blessing I cannot see?
6. What does this experience make possible?
7. What will I be telling my grandchildren that I learned was so valuable in this season of my life? …. Read this in full at
http://michaelhyatt.com/seven-better-questions-you-can-ask-in-the-midst-of-adversity.html

A PROFOUND TRUTH I LEARNED FROM MY GRANDSON
by Chuck Swindoll
My ninth grandchild, Jonathan, holds a very special place in my heart. Back in 1997, our younger daughter, Colleen, brought him into the world after a normal pregnancy and a routine delivery. But soon after his birth, the hospital visits began to multiply.

Over the course of the next few years, our little Jonathan continued to struggle. Specialists diagnosed him with autism and Tourette’s syndrome, as well as a host of other disabilities. His life — and that of our daughter — would never be what the world calls “normal.”

I will confess to you that in that moment, I realized that my understanding of God’s sovereignty left much to be desired. Real life has a way of poking holes in overly simplistic theology, doesn’t it?

After much study and prayer, I arrived at a simple conclusion. We live in a sinful, broken world where suffering and pain are an inescapable part of everyday life. But God is always in control. Scripture tells us that He uses difficult times to “purify . . . and refine [us] like gold and silver, so that [we] may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness” (Malachi 3:3).
http://www.insight.org/topical/special-needs/

CHARLES COLSON’S FINAL MISSION: SPIRITUALLY CLONING HIMSELF
Charles Colson assembles the newest members of his Christian army at a Loudoun County convention hall on a winter Saturday. Seated before the aging Watergate-era felon-turned-evangelical leader are dozens of handpicked disciples: a woman who sings at patriotic events, a sports psychology professor, a real estate developer, a pharmaceutical salesman.

They’ve spent the year — and as much as $4,000 — reading the books Colson reads, watching the movies he watches, praying the way he prays. It’s all part of an ambitious effort by Colson to replicate his spiritual DNA and ensure that his vision of Christianity doesn’t die when he does.

“This is the time for us to metastasize and impact society!” the gravelly-voiced former Nixon aide tells his rapt audience. “And this is a really, really urgent hour.”

For decades after emerging from a federal penitentiary, Colson focused on building what has become the world’s biggest prison ministry. Now, at 79, he has shifted his attention to the final mission of his remarkable life: saving what he regards as true Christianity from American extinction. Time is running out…. Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/evangelist-chuck-colsons-final-mission-spiritually-cloning-himself/2011/03/01/AB10oL9_story.html

RELIGION MAY BECOME EXTINCT IN 9 NATIONS, STUDY SAYS
A study using census data from 9 countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers. The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation.

The team’s mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one. The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries.

The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland…. Read this in full at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12811197

Also see “Is Religion Going Extinct? Not So Fast” by Brad Hirschfield
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/for-gods-sake/post/is-religion-going-extinct/2011/03/24/ABL7dNPB_blog.html

MAJORITY IN UK ARE NOT RELIGIOUS: POLL
Almost two-thirds of Britons say they are not religious, a poll by a humanist group indicates. In an online poll of England and Wales commissioned by the British Humanist Association, 61% said they did belong to a religion but 65% answered no when asked the question: “Are you religious?” Only 29% said yes, the BBC reported.

In a separate poll of Scotland, 42% of respondents said they belonged to no religion and 56% said they were not religious.

Among those who called themselves Christians, fewer than half said they believed Jesus Christ was a real person who died, came back to life, and was the son of God…. Read this in full at
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/03/21/Majority-in-UK-are-not-religious-Poll/UPI-89071300732839/

FORMER DAWKINS ATHEIST RICHARD MORGAN CONTINUES TO PRAISE GOD
Three years later and still going strong, one man continues to prove to atheists that his conversion was not a “temporary brain infraction.” Nominal Christian, Mormon missionary, atheist, and now a born-again Christian, Richard Morgan recently spoke to Apologetics315 about his life-changing, or saving, experience on none other than Richard Dawkins’ infamous website.

Having been through his share of religious inquiry at a young age, Morgan realized that he was constantly in search of something, whether it be spiritual or not.

Embracing answers in whatever shape they took, he found himself a Mormon at one point in his life after meeting two Mormon missionaries. But after becoming a missionary, he began to have some serious doubts about his beliefs, which later caused him to abandon that religion altogether…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/former-dawkins-atheist-richard-morgan-continues-to-praise-god-49558/

GOD’S WORD AND OUR WONDERMENT
“Wonder is not an activity. You’d never say to a guest, ‘Pardon me for a few minutes while I walk outside in the garden and wonder.’ Rather, wonder is a capacity that grows, and will grow, given the right encouragement and environment. It’s a capacity we are born with, and I think it is helped along by the power of the Holy Spirit.

“When I was a child, my capacity for wonder was grown by the language of our church and the King James Bible. The language formed me forever. I was a child raised to understand God as an intimate friend – so intimate that he lives in me – and this has influenced my understandings and aspirations. Angels had charge over me, watching my step, and I was kind to strangers because they may have been angels unawares. I also learned that this intimacy included certain spiritual feelings and experiences, not all of them clear; the Lord was my shepherd; he led me beside still waters, and sometimes, he made me lie down in green pastures; when I was scared, his rod and staff comforted me.

“The 1611 translators said many things exceedingly well. May this be our benediction:
It remaineth that we commend thee to God, and to the Spirit of his grace, which is able to build further than we can ask or think. He removeth the scales from our eyes, the veil from our hearts, opening our wits that we may understand his word, enlarging our hearts, yea, correcting our affections, that we may love it above gold and silver, yea, that we may love it to the end. Amen.”
Jon Sweeney in Verily, Verily: The KJV – 400 Years of Influence and Beauty

THE FOOTPATH TO PEACE
“To be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars; to be satisfied with your possessions, but not contented with yourself until you have made the best of them; to despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing except cowardice; to be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts; to covet nothing that is your neighbor’s except his kindness of heart and gentleness of manners; to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends, and every day of Christ; and to spend as much time as you can, with body and with spirit, in God’s out-of-doors — these are little guideposts on the footpath to peace.”
Henry Van Dyke

NAE BOARD APPROVES ‘LOWERING THE DEBT, RAISING THE POOR’ RESOLUTION
The Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) approved a resolution at its semiannual meeting in March calling on the President and Congress to address the national debt in a way that protects and lifts up the poor. The NAE also approved a new mission statement: “The mission of the National Association of Evangelicals is to honor God by connecting and representing evangelical Christians.”

“Clearly the current fiscal course is not sustainable,” said Leith Anderson, NAE President. “We welcome the renewed attention on the national debt, which now tops $14 trillion. At the same time, we urge special attention to how new legislation would impact those who are poor.”

Most Americans overestimate what percentage of their tax dollars go overseas, believing that 23% is allocated for international assistance. However, non-security aid to the world’s poor receives only 1% of the federal budget. Even with government and private charities working together, more than 1 billion people struggle to survive on less than $1.25 a day. If lifesaving foreign assistance is cut drastically, vulnerable people will suffer and some will die. Private programs, including those run by NAE member organizations, are unlikely to be able to make up the difference…. Read this in full at
http://www.nae.net/news/543-press-release-nae-board-approves-lowering-the-debt-raising-the-poor-resolution

‘THIS IS CHRISTIANITY TODAY’ PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS MINISTRY’S CALLING
Christianity Today has launched a new project, This Is Christianity Today, that throughout 2011 will showcase Christian thought leaders and church leaders highlighting the importance and distinctiveness of the non-profit communications ministry and its role in serving the church.

Harold Smith, President and CEO of Christianity Today, says, “This Is Christianity Today will speak to the depth and breadth of our ministry. It will visually capture the words and experiences of men and women whose own faith walks have been touched–even transformed–by what we do.”

The project’s focus is a website, ThisIsChristianityToday.com, with a growing number of videos featuring prominent Christian leaders discussing how Christianity Today has influenced their lives and how the ministry serves the global church. Videos currently available feature Scot McKnight, Leith Anderson, Kara Powell, Sam Rodriguez, and Sara Groves.

The website’s dual purpose is to serve as a place to share stories and conversations about the ministry of Christianity Today — early memories, ways readers have been challenged and encouraged, and how Christianity Today is an important voice to and for the church.
http://www.ThisIsChristianityToday.com

INTERVIEW: WALDEN MEDIA PRESIDENT MICHAEL FLAHERTY ON NARNIA 4 FILM
Through Walden Media, a children’s production company, co-founder and president Michael Flaherty has already brought three stories from the beloved Chronicles of Narnia series to life on the big screen.

With the latest movie installment, “Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” slated to be released on DVD in April, Walden Media is now looking ahead at the next Narnia movie, which will likely be “The Magician’s Nephew.”

The Christian Post recently sat down with Flaherty at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tenn., to speak to him about the Narnia 4 movie, lessons he learned from the dismal performance of “Prince Caspian,” and challenges for family movies in the marketplace…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/interview-walden-media-president-michael-flaherty-on-narnia-4-film-49518/

‘WHEN HELPING HURTS:’ INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES HOST SYMPOSIUM ON UNHEALTHY DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN RESOURCES BY INDIGENOUS GROUPS
Christians in America are known worldwide for financial generosity, but sometimes “helping hurts” and actually hinders the work of the Gospel. Such was the focus of “Unhealthy Dependency to Faith Reliance,” a symposium to generate solutions on issues surrounding financial dependency in developing countries, co-sponsored recently by Christian ministries TWR International and HCJB Global.

Discussion topics at the two-day event ranged from indigenous funding and resource mobilization to finding ways for U.S.-based ministries to work together going forward.

“Unhealthy dependence has been the ‘elephant in the room’ far too long,” said Brett Elder, director of collaborative initiatives for Acton Institute of Grand Rapids, Mich. “It is important
to learn alongside others who share a passion for the global church—those not simply acting on good intentions, but committed to apply sound economic and biblical principles that foster health and flourishing of the church around the world.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/pressreleases/when_helping_hurts_international_ministries_host_symposium_on_unhealthy_dep/

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION
by Michael Duduit
Though America is becoming an increasingly secular nation in many ways, American Christians still live in relative comfort and freedom. That is not the case for many of our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in other nations. Note these recent news reports:

Baptist Press reports that damage surveys following recent anti-Christian violence in Ethiopia showed at least 69 churches were burned. Another 30 Christian homes, a Bible school, a Christian orphanage and a church office were also burned. The anti-Christian attacks started March 2 after Muslims allegedly accused Christians of desecrating the Quran, the Islamic holy book. Violence continues to affect residents of the area. During the initial days of the attacks, 3,000 Christians were displaced; International Christian Concern reports those numbers now have climbed to 10,000.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is calling on Christians worldwide to pray for believers in Iran, who face increasing pressure from authorities. On March 8, five Iranian Christians were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment for “crimes against the Islamic order” by the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz. The group was arrested last June and spent almost eight months in prison before a temporary release in February.

Concern also remains high for another Church of Iran leader, Pastor Yousef Nadakharni, who was sentenced to death for apostasy, and whose appeal is pending at the Supreme Court. At least 282 Christians have been arrested in more than 30 Iranian cities since June 2010, though many were released. Christians in the country say the situation has deteriorated quickly since Dec. 26, 2010, when authorities began a fresh wave of arrests.

Two takeaways: First, don’t take for granted the freedom of religion we enjoy; don’t presume we always will have the freedoms we have today. Second, we must pray daily for persecuted believers around the globe, and do all we can to encourage and support them as they live faithfully in hostile lands.
http://www.michaelduduit.com
http://twitter.com/MichaelDuduit

VERSE TO PONDER
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:29

CONSIDER
“No man ever enters heaven until he is first convinced that he deserves hell.”
John Everett

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
The classic movie The Ten Commandments will be released on Blu-ray and DVD March 29. Free movie clips and other material are available at
http://www.ministryresourcesonline.com/tencommandments/

35,000 BIBLES RELEASED IN MALAYSIA – WITH CONDITIONS
Mission News Network reports that Christians in Malaysia are not celebrating the release of 35,000 Bibles previously detained by Malaysian officials. Despite a court decision approving the Bible’s use of the word “Allah” for “God,” government officials are reluctant follow the court order and risk upsetting Muslims. “Now the government is saying, ‘Okay, we’ll go ahead and release these Bibles, but we want you to stamp on the front of them that these are for the use of Christians only, not for the use of other religions,'” says Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs. “They also want each of the Bibles to be stamped with a serial number, which obviously then presents the opportunity for them to be traced. If the Bible turns up later in the hands of a Muslim or in the hands of someone they say shouldn’t have it, they could trace it back and say, ‘Okay, where did this Bible come from? Who was it?’ and try to get back to the people who are distributing Bibles there.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.mnnonline.org/article/15493

OUR CARDBOARD TESTIMONIES
“Because the church is designed to be the most diverse institution possible … it makes perfect sense that we would find the full breadth of God’s grace expressed in the church. Consider the diverse types of people present in the church of Antioch in the first century … There was Simeon of Niger, a black African prophet; Lucius of Cyrene, a Jew from the region of modern-day Libya; Manaen, the foster brother of King Herod Antipas and a member of elite social circles; Barnabas, a warm-hearted and spiritually wise apostle who came from a Jewish priestly family; and Paul, a former Pharisee who had been one of the primary persecutors of the early church.

“One could [also] see the depth of God’s grace. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 1:16 that he felt he was the “worst of sinners,” yet he was shown mercy so that God might display in him the depth of his grace. Imagine walking into the church at Antioch and seeing the person who was once a blasphemer and chief persecutor of Christians worshiping Jesus!

“When the outside world in Antioch noticed the breadth and depth of God’s grace visible in the church, they took to calling them “Christ-followers.” The fullness of God’s grace at the church in Antioch made Jesus Christ visible to those in the city, just as God intended.

“The church’s ability to manifest Jesus by being a recipient of the fullness of God’s grace is not limited to the first century. Many churches today have used “cardboard testimonies” in their services. During a “cardboard testimony” service, people from the church come forward with a large piece of cardboard. On one side is a word or a short phrase describing their life before they experienced the transforming power of God’s grace. It may read “gossip,” or “alcoholic,” or “lonely.” The cardboard is then flipped over to show the result of how God’s grace has transformed them — “speaker of love,” “sober and free,” or “friend of God”! … [This] paints a picture of the breadth and depth of God’s grace.

“This is why Paul prays that the church in Ephesus might have “power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18, italics added). Grasping Christ’s infinite love is a communal process.”
-Jim Samra in The Gift of Church: How God Designed the Local Church to Meet Our Needs as Christians

JOHN STOTT: THE MAN WHO WOULDN’T BE BISHOP
by David Neff
John R. W. Stott, a key architect of 20th-century evangelicalism, turns 90 on April 27. Mark your calendar to thank God that day for the man known around the world as “Uncle John.”

Stott’s friends have geared up for the event by sharing their memories in two book projects. Curiously, InterVarsity Press asked me — not in any way a Stott expert — to write the foreword for the US editions of both books.

February 2010 saw the publication of Basic Christian: The Inside Story of John Stott. Historian Roger Steer collected anecdotes from dozens of colleagues and friends and wove them into an engaging narrative.

March 2011 will see the UK publication of another exercise in recollection, a book that was Stott’s own idea. Langham Partnership international director Christopher Wright says Stott “felt a more personal picture could be painted by those who knew him more intimately over the years — and he insisted” it should show “warts and all.” Stott asked Wright to solicit the contributions and said “he did not wish to read any of the contributions himself, in order that people should feel free to speak the truth as they saw it.” Stott also asked that the book not be published until after his death, but his publisher insisted on preparing it for his 90th birthday. Unfortunately, U.S. readers must wait until the fall for Portraits of a Radical Disciple, as the American edition will be called.

As I read the manuscripts for these books, one thing — or more precisely, one pair of things — struck me repeatedly: Stott’s discernment and discipline. John Stott’s enormous influence on evangelicalism, in England, America, and around the globe, was possible because he prayerfully discerned what God wanted him to do (and not to do), and then he focused on those things (and disciplined himself not to do many other good things)…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/march/johnstott.html

UPDATED VERSION OF NIV – WORLD’S MOST POPULAR BIBLE – DEBUTS IN STORES
Zondervan, a global Bible publisher, is debuting a full-line of Bibles featuring the updated New International Version (NIV) translation: 177 different product SKUs under 33 print titles, all featuring the updated NIV translation.
http://www.thenivbible.com/
http://www.niv-cbt.org/

CHRISTIANITY TODAY HONORED AT THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES’ 25TH ANNIVERSARY GENESIS AWARDS
The Humane Society of the United States announced that Christianity Today won the first Genesis Outstanding Written Word Award dedicated to journalistic excellence on animal protection issues in faith-based publications.

Christianity Today’s November 2010 cover story, “A Feast Fit for the King,” by Leslie Leyland Fields (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/november/9.22.html), won the Genesis Award in the Outstanding Written Word—William Wilberforce Award category.

“The Humane Society of the United States is thankful for Christianity Today’s attention to the issue of factory farming,” said Christine Gutleben, director of The HSUS’ Faith Outreach program. “Fields did an excellent job of presenting the problems associated with industrial animal agriculture and why it should matter to Christians.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/pressreleases/christianity_today_honored_at_the_humane_society_of_the_united_states_25th_/

AIRLINE IGNORES PASSENGER COMPLAINTS, ALLOWS EXPLICIT LESBIAN SCENES ON BOARD
Lesbian sex scenes on transatlantic flights? “It’s almost as if American Airlines couldn’t wait to baptize their passengers in the sexual values of our country,” says Bill Perkins the president of Million Mighty Men and author of numerous books including When Good Men Are Tempted.

“I’ve flown 2.3 million miles with American Airlines and I am disappointed with their in-flight media philosophy.” While flying from New Delhi, India to Chicago Perkins was stunned to see the passenger next to him viewing the movie, Black Swan on the in-flight monitor…. Read what you can do to take action at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/425816546.html

PETA: DON’T CALL ANIMALS ‘IT’ IN THE BIBLE
PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is calling for a more animal-friendly update to the Bible. The group is asking translators of the New International Version (NIV) to remove what it calls “speciesist” language and refer to animals as “he” or “she” instead of “it.” …. Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/23/peta-dont-call-animals-it-in-the-bible/

HELPFUL(?) HEALTH Q&A
Q: I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it…don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body, and you have body fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating a regular exercise program?
A: Can’t think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain…Good.

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A: You’re not listening. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: What’s the secret to healthy eating?
A: Thicker gravy.

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO …… Cocoa beans … another vegetable!!! It’s the best feel-good food around!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. Now go have a cookie…flour is a veggie!
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com

CONSIDER
“The best measure of spiritual life is not ecstasies but obedience.”
Oswald Chambers

VERSE TO PONDER
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:7-11

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: AT THE CROSS, HER STATION KEEPING
Words: Variously attributed to Gregory I, Bernard of Clairvaux, Pope Innocent III, Bonaventura, Jacopone da Todi, Pope John XXII, and Pope Gregory XI, and others; translated from Latin to English by Edward Caswall and the compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern.
Music: John B. Dykes, 1875

At the cross, her station keeping,
Stood the mournful mother weeping,
Where He hung, the dying Lord;
For her soul of joy bereavèd,
Bowed with anguish, deeply grievèd,
Felt the sharp and piercing sword.

Oh, how sad and sore distressèd
Now was she, that mother blessèd
Of the sole begotten One;
Deep the woe of her affliction,
When she saw the crucifixion
Of her ever glorious Son.

Who, on Christ’s dear mother gazing
Pierced by anguish so amazing
Born of woman, would not weep?
Who, on Christ’s dear mother thinking
Such a cup of sorrow drinking
Would not share her sorrows deep?

For His people’s sins chastisèd,
She beheld her Son despisèd,
Scourged, and crowned with thorns entwined;
Saw Him then from judgment taken,
And in death by all forsaken,
Till His Spirit He resigned.

Jesu, may her deep devotion
Stir in me the same emotion,
Fount of love, Redeemer kind,
That my heart fresh ardor gaining,
And a purer love attaining,
May with Thee acceptance find.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/a/c/h/achskeep.htm

ON PRAYER
“The goal of prayer is to live all of my life and speak all of my words in the joyful awareness of the presence of God.”
John Ortberg

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.

Religion news headlines
http://www.netvibes.com/somersault#News

Stunning evening landscape photo
http://www.photosight.ru/photo/alone/3755361/

World’s tallest treehouse
http://dornob.com/1-man-10-stories-100-feet-tallest-treehouse-in-the-world/

The Earth at night
http://www.indiaonrent.com/forwards/a/amazing-picture-earth-at-night/res/r-8u6j.jpg

Beautiful watercolor paintings
http://www.livingdesign.info/2011/01/04/watercolors-by-grzegorz-wrobel/

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.)

I dream of a better world, where chickens can cross the road without their motives being questioned.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank

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 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.org/

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