CONNECTIONS NEWS – 05/01/2011

For week of May 1, 2011
Issue 354

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 though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.”
Psalm 23:4-6

     CONSIDER
Nails were not enough to hold God-and-man nailed and fastened on the Cross, had not love held Him there.”
Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Saint Catherine of Siena as seen in her letters, J. M. Dent, 1906, p. 42

     ETHICISTS: BIN LADEN KILLING IS JUSTICE SERVED
American military forces killed Osama bin Laden early May 2 in Pakistan, nearly a decade after terrorist strikes he supervised resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 people in the deadliest day of attacks ever against the United States on its own soil.

President Obama announced the killing of the leader of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in a late-night address May 1 to the country, saying, “Justice has been done.” He said the death of the leader of the militant Islamic organization al-Qaida “should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”

After avoiding capture or killing for nearly 10 years, bin Laden, 54, died at the hands of an elite U.S. military team in a “firefight” at a heavily secured, northern Pakistani compound where he may have lived for as much as six years…. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=35190

The Death of Osama bin Laden: What Kind of Justice Has Been Done?” by Michael Horton
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/mayweb-only/osama-justice.html

Yes, Justice Has Been Done in the Killing of Osama bin Laden” by Gideon Strauss
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/mayweb-only/osama-celebration.html

‘Do Not Gloat’ over Osama bin Laden’s Death” by Warren Larson
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/mayweb-only/osama-donotgloat.html

     DAVID WILKERSON: ‘INFLUENTIAL’ LONG BEFORE THE ‘TIME 100’
A man of vast, life-altering influence for decades for thousands of people has died but many who talk about influence today in the Time 100 list and social media don’t know his name — Rev. David Wilkerson. He was killed in a head-on car accident in Texas April 27.

He founded the Time Square Church, now a non-denominational megachurch of 8,000 members, back when this was a crossroads of iniquity, not a place where the Christian Cross was much discussed among X-rated establishments. And Wilkerson founded a faith-based program to wean addicts off drugs. Known as Teen Challenge, it now has branches worldwide.

As a writer and an evangelist, Wilkerson was “influential” long before Time Magazine annual list of the names with clout in culture, politics and entertainment…. Read this in full at
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2011/04/david-wilkerson-times-square-teen-challenge/1

http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/30794-david-wilkerson-killed-in-car-crash

     FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY APPROVES THE COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE FOR OFFICIAL SCHOOL USE
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, has approved the new Common English Bible (@CommonEngBible) as a translation for use in biblical studies courses for its more than 4,000 students, and particularly for all master’s-level instruction in the seminary’s School of Theology, School of Psychology, and School of Intercultural Studies on all eight of its campuses.

“Fuller’s mission is to prepare men and women for the manifold ministries of Christ and his church. We work out this calling with an eye toward both academic excellence and service to the church. The Biblical Division’s decision to approve the Common English Bible for classroom use reflects these commitments,” says J. R. Daniel Kirk, assistant professor of New Testament at Fuller. “We’ve approved the Common English Bible because it’s an academically excellent translation, because it communicates the underlying Greek and Hebrew texts in a clear and accessible fashion, and because it reflects the reality that the communities for which the Bible was written consist of both women and men.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/5662116859.html

     What God’s Wisdom Means for You 
God’s wisdom means that God always chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals.”

“‘We know that God works all things together for good for those who love him, who are called according to his purpose’ (Rom. 8:28). Here Paul affirms that God does work wisely in all the things that come into our lives, and that through all these things he advances us toward the goal of conformity to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). It should be our great confidence and a source of peace day by day to know that God causes all things to move us toward the ultimate goal he has for our lives, namely, that we might be like Christ and thereby bring glory to him. Such confidence enabled Paul to accept his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7) as something that, though painful, God in his wisdom had chosen not to remove (2 Cor. 12:8-10).

Every day of our lives, we may quiet our discouragement with the comfort that comes from the knowledge of God’s infinite wisdom: if we are his children, we can know that he is working wisely in our lives, even today, to bring us into greater conformity into the image of Christ.

We can ask God confidently for wisdom when we need it, for he promises in his Word, ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him’ (James 1:5). This wisdom, or skill in living a life pleasing to God, comes primarily from reading and obeying his Word: ‘The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple’ (Ps. 19:7; cf. Deut. 4:6-8).” Wayne Grudem in Systematic Theology

YOUVERSION ORGANIZES KJV BIBLE FLASH MOB MAY 2
What’s 400 years old and red in some places? The King James Version of the Bible. Now, the creators of YouVersion, a digital version of the Bible, are organizing a flash mob around the King James Version of the Good Book to celebrate its 400th anniversary—and it may be read all over…. Read this in full at
http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/30776-youversion-organizes-kjv-bible-flash-mob

     LUIS PALAU FINDS OPEN DOORS AND CHALLENGES IN RECENT TRIP TO VIETNAM
World evangelist and author Luis Palau joined with church leaders to help pave the way for historic Easter celebrations earlier this month in Vietnam. Joined by his son and fellow evangelist Andrew Palau, both had the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ openly on several occasions, focusing their efforts on Ho Chi Minh City (pop. 7.1 million) and Hanoi (pop. 6.5 million).

Although several of the events were met with resistance — requiring last-minute changes in Ho Chi Minh City as well as cancellation of events in Hanoi — more than 35,000 people heard the Good News in person and several thousand more watched through live Internet streaming of the historic, two-day festival in Ho Chi Minh City on April 9 and 10. The executive committee reported that more than 5,500 individuals made documented decisions for Jesus Christ as a result of the campaign. Each one was given a Vietnamese New Testament as a start to their discipleship process…. Read this in full at
http://media.palau.org/news/story/luis_palau_finds_open_doors_and_challenges_in_recent_trip_to_vietnam_37

     VERSE TO PONDER
“Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:20-22

     CONSIDER
Jesus, please teach me to appreciate what I have before time forces me to appreciate what I had.”
Susan L. Lenzkes

     SEMINARY ENROLLMENTS SHOWING UPTURN
Total enrollment is up for the first time in four years at seminaries of the Association of Theological Schools—thanks to the addition of 11 new schools to the roster of North America’s accrediting organization.

Without those newly admitted seminaries and their fall enrollments of about 1,000 students, officials at the Pittsburgh-based ATS would have noted yet another downward tick in the totals. Instead, the 75,431 students studying for the ministry at 261 institutions rose .6% from a year earlier.

Looking at 245 schools that have been members for at least five years, ATS says the news was still good. The decline “has slowed to a rate of .8 percent between 2009 and 2010,” said Eliza Smith Brown, director of communications and external relations. It had dropped 3.6% in the fall of 2008—the largest single-year drop in four years.

Seven of the 11 seminaries admitted last year fell into ATS’s category of evangelical institutions. Two are Catholic-related and two are listed as mainline…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2011-04/seminary-enrollments-showing-upturn

     WHAT DOES HOLINESS LOOK LIKE?
Somewhere along the way I picked up some wrongheaded ideas about holiness. I had the idea that to be holy means to have one’s head in the clouds. To be otherworldly. To live a life largely defined by rules and restrictions and don’ts – don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t cuss, don’t chew, and don’t associate with people who do. Even when I began to grow out of these false impressions, I still thought of holy people as those who carried around an aura of highly developed religious refinement. They were churchgoers, Bible readers, fasters and prayers, and maybe just a little too heavenly to be of any earthly use.

How did [Jesus] demonstrate holiness? Maybe the best answer is the one he gave to John the Baptist when John [asked] whether Jesus was the One they had been expecting God to send. To confirm that he was God’s Holy One, Jesus did not send back the answer we might expect: ‘Tell John that I pray five times a day … never miss a synagogue meeting, burn the midnight oil studying the holy scrolls, avoid everything unclean, and wouldn’t touch a drop of wine even with gloves on.’ Instead, he responded, ‘Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen – the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor’ (Matt. 11:4-5 NLT).

Here Jesus shows us [holiness] doesn’t mean praying long, eloquent prayers [or] saying “praise the Lord” a lot; or holding up your hands in church. It means getting those hands involved in God’s work. Getting them dirty. Being holy means feeding the hungry, seeing to the needs of the sick, helping people in trouble, and comforting them in grief. It means letting your hands be instruments of God’s love. It means opening your life to God’s Holy Spirit and allowing him to use you to bless others.”
Michael W. Smith in A Simple Blessing: The Extraordinary Power of an Ordinary Prayer

     SHOULD ATHEISTS BE CHAPLAINS IN MILITARY? NAE THINKS NOT
Should atheists be able to serve as military chaplains? The head of the largest representative body of chaplains in the U.S. Armed Forces and Veterans Administration doesn’t think so.

A recent New York Times article highlighted the case made by humanist organizations and atheists that humanist chaplains are needed to serve nonbelievers in the military. One humanist group has asked for an audience with the chiefs of chaplains to discuss the proposal.

Weighing in on the issue, Paul Vicalvi, executive director of National Association of Evangelicals Chaplain Commission, which represents over 1,200 chaplains in the military, said he was “puzzled” when he heard of the request…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/should-atheists-be-chaplains-in-military-nae-thinks-not-50013/

     STUDY LINKS WILLINGNESS TO CHEAT, VIEWPOINT ON GOD
A new study on the link between one’s view of God and willingness to cheat on a test is the latest example of social scientists wading into the highly charged field of religion and morality.

The study, titled “Mean Gods Make Good People: Different Views of God Predict Cheating Behavior” was peer reviewed and published in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion.

In line with many previous studies, it found no difference between the ethical behavior of believers and nonbelievers. But those who believed in a loving, compassionate God were more likely to cheat than those who believed in an angry, punitive God…. Read this in full at
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-beliefs-morals-20110430,0,4211564.story

     DEMOGRAPHIC REVOLUTION AND THE CHURCH
By Michael O. Emerson
Most of us have heard a variation of this statement: “The United States is becoming increasingly racially and ethnically diverse. To stay ‘relevant,’ we must adapt to this new reality.”

I have often wondered exactly what this statement is supposed to mean for the church. Does it mean that churches filled primarily with white or black persons should somehow forget such folks and focus on other people? Does it mean churches should start playing some imagined stereotypical Hispanic music? It is never clear. Rather, it seems as if the statement is typically more a veiled threat: get hip (somehow) or disappear.

Forget getting hip. The growing diversity is a gift from God, a blessing for the church.

But I get ahead of myself. Let’s first carefully consider the facts of the demographic transitions occurring in the US, and then let’s think just as carefully about what they mean for ministry…. Read this in full at
http://faithandleadership.com/content/michael-o-emerson-demographic-revolution-and-the-church

     CONSIDER
The problem of reconciling human suffering with the existence of a God who loves, is only insoluble so long as we attach a trivial meaning to the word ‘love.’”
C. S. Lewis

     VERSE TO PONDER
“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18

     THIS WEEK’S HYMN: THE LORD OF LIFE IS RISEN
Words: Johann P. Lange, 1832; translated from German to English by Henry Harbaugh, 1860
Music: Alice Nevin, 1879

The Lord of life is risen;
Sing, Easter heralds, sing!
He bursts His rocky prison;
Wide let the triumph ring!
In death no longer lying,
He rose, the Prince, today;
Life of the dead and dying,
He triumphed o’er decay.

The Lord of life is risen,
And love no longer grieves;
In ruin lies death’s prison,
Sing, heralds, Jesus lives!
We hear the blessèd greeting;
Salvation’s work is done!
We worship Thee, repeating,
Life for the dead is won!”

Around Thy tomb, O Jesus,
How sweet the Easter breath;
Hear we not in the breezes,
Where is thy sting, O death?”
Dark hell flies in commotion,
The heavens their anthems sing;
While far o’er earth and ocean
Glad hallelujahs ring!

O publish this salvation,
Ye heralds, through the earth,
To every buried nation
Proclaim the day of birth!
Till, rising from their slumbers,
In long and ancient night
The countless heathen numbers
Shall hail the Easter light.

Hail, hail, our Jesus risen!
Sing, ransomed brethren, sing!
Through death’s dark, gloomy prison
Let Easter chorals ring!
Haste, haste, ye captive legions,
Accept your glad reprieve;
Come forth from sin’s dark regions;
In Jesus’ kingdom live!

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/l/l/llisrisn.htm

     ON PRAYER
“Before a word of petition is offered, we should have the definite and vivid consciousness that we are talking to God and should believe that He is listening to our petition and is going to grant the thing that we ask of Him. We should look to the Holy Spirit to really lead us into the presence of God and should not be hasty in words until He has actually brought us there.”
R. A. Torrey, in How to Pray

     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.

Bible Gateway
http://www.biblegateway.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.)

Half the people you know are below average.
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.org/

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