CONNECTIONS NEWS – 05/08/2011

For week of May 8, 2011
Issue 355

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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“Happiness comes to those who are fair to others and are always just and good.”
Psalm 106:3 (The Living Bible)

CONSIDER
“When you have no helpers, see all your helpers in God. When you have many helpers, see God in all your helpers. When you have nothing but God, see all in God; when you have everything, see God in everything. Under all conditions, stay thy heart only on the Lord.”
Charles H. Spurgeon

‘BONHOEFFER’ IS NAMED 2011 CHRISTIAN AND NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR
The accolades and awards continue to pour in for Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2010) – Eric Metaxas’ powerful biography of the German theologian executed in April 1945 for his role in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) crowned it May 2 as not only its 2011 Christian Book of the Year, but its Non-Fiction Book of the Year…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/3036816912.html

OVER 10,000 PARTICIPATE IN READING KING JAMES BIBLE 8 TIMES IN 400 SECONDS
In honor of the 400th Anniversary of the King James Version Bible, YouVersion organized a Global Flash Mob to read the King James Version Bible in 400 seconds. With over 10,000 people across the world signed up to participate, users were able to read through the Bible eight times, far exceeding the original goal of reading through the KJV Bible one time.

Participants began reading the Bible at 12:00 p.m. EST Monday, May 2, 2011 and finished 6 minutes and 40 seconds later. To view a world map showing participation visit http://ext.youversion.com/press/kjv_map.png.

“Two historic events happened today-the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible and the largest and fastest Bible reading event in history,” said Bobby Gruenewald, Innovation leader at Lifechurch.tv, creators of YouVersion. “The King James Version greatly increased access to the Bible. It is amazing to see how far we have come in access and engagement with the Bible in 400 years.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2011/s11050014.htm

THE KING JAMES BIBLE: “MASTERPIECE BY COMMITTEE”
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly reporter Kim Lawton investigates the background surrounding the King James Version of the Bible with Jon Sweeney, author of the new book Verily, Verily; and Professor Scott Carroll, director of the Green Collection, one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts. Also, see part of a Green Collection traveling exhibition that was unveiled during a March 31 reception at the Embassy of the Holy See in Washington…. Watch this in full at
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/by-topic/the-king-james-bible-%e2%80%9cmasterpiece-by-committee%e2%80%9d/8673/

340 MILLION STILL NEED BIBLE TRANSLATED
Every Sunday, Vicar Gary Jenkins parts the pages of his Bible and preaches the Word to the parishioners of Holy Trinity Church in Redhill, United Kingdom.

In the United States, the King James Version of the Bible elicits mixed emotions from Christians, all the way from extreme loyalty to distaste. But in British cathedrals like Holy Trinity, it has special meaning Americans might not fully grasp.

Four hundred years ago, it was the Gospel that brought to the British people in their heart language widely for the first time.

“Undoubtedly the Authorised [King James] Version has had a huge impact on the life of the nation, shaping our culture and even the language itself,” Jenkins said. “But even more importantly, this celebration gives the churches a great opportunity to convey the living Word of God afresh to a nation where there is now so much ignorance of Scripture.”

And, he said, it gives his church the chance to focus on the looming need worldwide — the “islands” that, 400 years after the KJV, still need the Bible in their own languages.

The need is about 340 million people speaking 2,078 languages, to be exact. These hundreds of millions of people don’t even have Bible translation programs started in their languages, according to Wycliffe Bible Translators…. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=35231

10 MOST TWEETED BIBLE VERSES IN RESPONSE TO BIN LADEN’S DEATH
by Eleanor Barkhorn
The announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed sparked record Twitter use, with as many as 4,000 tweets per second posted the night of May 1. In many of those tweets, people of faith processed the news by quoting relevant passages from the Bible. Using data collected by OpenBible.info’s Stephen Smith, Christianity Today listed the 24 most-tweeted verses in the 12 hours after the story broke. They range from somber (#1: “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,” Proverbs 24:17) to smug (#3: “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers,” Proverbs 21:15, started by Pastor Rick Warren), and reflect an ambivalence about the appropriate way to react when a person who has committed great evil receives earthly justice. Here are the top 10:

1. Proverbs 24:17 “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice.”
2. Psalm 138:8 “The LORD will make PERFECT the things that concern me”(KJV). (NIV: “The LORD will vindicate me; your love, LORD, endures forever–do not abandon the works of your hands.”) (Unrelated tweet by Rev Run.)
3. Proverbs 21:15 “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” (Rick Warren started this one.) …. Read this in full at
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/05/10-most-tweeted-bible-verses-in-response-to-bin-ladens-death/238207/

IS IT MORAL TO CELEBRATE A PERSON’S DEATH?
by Jim Wallis
Pumping our fists in victory or celebrating in the streets is probably not the best Christian response to anyone’s death, even the death of a dangerous and violent enemy. The world can be relieved that a leader as evil as Bin Laden can no longer plot the death of innocents. We can be grateful that his cynical manipulation and distortion of Islam into a message of division and hate is finally ended. Even if we sharply dissented from the moral logic or wisdom of the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan of the last decade, we can be glad that a mass murderer has been stopped and brought to justice. And we can be hopeful that the face of the Arab world might now become the young nonviolent activists for democracy rather than a self-righteous smirk of a self-promoting video character who tells us he is going to kill our children if we don’t submit to his hateful agenda…. Read this in full at
http://blog.sojo.net/2011/05/04/is-it-moral-to-celebrate-a-persons-death/

REFLECTION RESOURCES IN WAKE OF BIN LADEN’S DEATH
A prayer for the reign of peace:
Almighty, all-merciful God,
through Christ Jesus you have taught us
to love one another,
to love our neighbors as ourselves,
and even to love our enemies.
In times of violence and fear,
let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts,
so that we may not be overcome with evil
but overcome evil with good.
Help us to see each person
in light of the love and grace
you have shown us in Christ.
Put away the nightmares of terror
and awaken us to the dawning
of your new creation.
Establish among us a future
where peace reigns,
justice is done with mercy,
and all are reconciled.
We ask these things
in the name and for the sake
of Jesus Christ our Lord.
…. See more resources at
http://www.pcusa.org/news/2011/5/4/pcusa-ministries-offer-reflection-resources-wake-b/

SELF-EMPOWERED OR SPIRIT-FILLED?
“Can I make a small confession? Every once in a while when I’m at the gym I’ll be using some weight equipment where you determine how much weight you’ll be lifting by moving a stopper up and down on a set of weights. But when I get up to leave, do you know what I do? I nonchalantly move the stopper from 40 pounds to around 70 pounds so the next person will surely think to himself, ‘That guy’s got some impressive triceps.’ That’s what we do most of our lives – we try to reinforce this perception that we really are strong.

“In Paul’s Second letter to the Corinthians he spoke about how acknowledging our weakness makes room for Christ’s power [see 2 Cor.
12:9-10]. [Also, Paul reminds followers in Galatia] who had stopped living in the Spirit’s power and had started to depend on themselves how foolish that is. ‘Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit’ (Gal. 5:25). The picture is of someone walking, and every step they take, they take in the Spirit.

“Being filled with the Holy Spirit is often thought of and talked about in a very ethereal way while following Jesus seems to be more physical. I wanted to find a way to better explain or illustrate what it looks like when a follower is filled with the Holy Spirit. I asked my Facebook friends to finish this sentence for me, ‘By the power of the Holy Spirit….’ Within 24 hours I had over 100 responses:
I finally forgave my dad…
I lost 150 pounds and quit smoking…
We have adopted two boys from Ethiopia…
I am four years sober…
I am able to raise my special needs child, even as a single mom…
My marriage was saved…
My child returned home after three years of silence…
I found peace when my husband passed away and I thought my life was over.

“Story after story from followers who are filled with the Holy Spirit. What’s your story?”
Kyle Idleman in Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus

CHURCHES TO FOCUS ON DIGITAL EVANGELISM DURING MAY
May is designated ‘Digital Outreach Month’, enabling churches to learn more about the many opportunities for online evangelism.

“You have an incredible gift at your fingertips – literally. Your keyboard,” says the team at Internet Evangelism Day. They claim there is growing potential to share the good news online in a variety of ways. Christians can investigate these options during May, which has been designated Digital Outreach Month. At its center is the worldwide annual focus Sunday, Internet Evangelism Day itself, on May 15.

“You do not need to be technical,” says Tony Whittaker, IE Day coordinator. “There are many simple yet fulfilling ways of being salt and light in cyberspace.”

On May 15, IE Day is partnering with several major publishers to offer free e-book downloads of Christian titles which are normally pay-for. These cover web evangelism, social networking and other areas of effective communication…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/2360816900.html

PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION–NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
“Throughout our history, Americans have turned to prayer for strength, inspiration, and solidarity.

“Prayer has played an important role in the American story and in shaping our Nation’s leaders. President Abraham Lincoln once said, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.” The late Coretta Scott King recounted a particularly difficult night, during the Montgomery bus boycott, when her husband, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., received a threatening phone call and prayed at the kitchen table, saying, “Lord, I have nothing left. I have nothing left. I have come to the point where I can’t face it alone.” Dr. King said, in that moment of prayer, he was filled with a sense of comfort and resolve, which his wife credited as a turning point in the civil rights movement.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/29/presidential-proclamation-national-day-prayer

This graphic shows that 58% of Americans say they pray at least once a day:
http://pewforum.org/Prayer-in-America.aspx

FORMER NFL GREAT TIM BROWN SPEAKS ABOUT HIS TURNAROUND
Tim Brown was ready to retire from the NFL at the age of 30. He had abandoned his Christian upbringing to the point that he literally couldn’t look himself in the mirror any longer, causing him to brush his teeth in the dark.

According to the Times Leader, one night in prayer, he heard God tell him, “Now it’s time for you to serve,” but he didn’t fully understand who God was calling him to serve.

Brown recounted his story in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., Wednesday night. He was the featured speaker for the eighth annual Celebrity Dinner, hosted by the Volunteers of America.

Brown seemed to have it all early in his NFL career. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1987 while playing for Notre Dame. He was drafted in the first round in 1988 by the Los Angeles Raiders. And his faith was intact. When he came into the NFL, he put a towel over his head in the locker room to block his view of the players who were smoking, drinking and cursing.

Over time though, he told the crowd Wednesday night, he dropped his defenses and allowed himself to be influenced by those around him…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/former-nfl-great-tim-brown-speaks-about-his-turnaround-50111/

CHARACTER COUNTS
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in fields and boundless forests; it was not there. I sought for it in her free schools and her institutions of learning; it was not there. I sought for it in her matchless Constitution and democratic congress; it was not there. Not until I went to the churches and temples of America and found them aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and genius of America. America is great because America is good. When America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
Alexis de Tocqueville

HAS ENTERTAINMENT REPLACED SCRIPTURE AS THE CENTER OF OUR WORSHIP?
An interview with Chuck Swindoll
A survey in 2009 asked pastors to identify the most influential living preacher. Chuck Swindoll came in second only to Billy Graham. How does one use that kind of cachet? Apparently to call the church back from its captivity to entertainment.

Dr. Charles R. Swindoll is the pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, the chancellor and former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, a prominent radio preacher on Insight for Living, and a prolific author.

His latest book, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal, outlines the dangers when churches seek the world’s affirmation and copy the world’s methods. Leadership Journal’s senior editor Skye Jethani spoke with Swindoll about the use of entertainment values in worship.

Q: Early in your book you say that when the church becomes an entertainment center, biblical literacy is the first casualty. So why do you think the church has become so enamored with entertainment?

A: We live in a time with a lot of technology and media. We can create things virtually that look real. We have high-tech gadgets that were not available to previous generations. And we learned that we could attract a lot of people to church if we used those things. I began to see that happening about 20 years ago. It troubled me then, and it’s enormously troubling to me now because the result is an entertainment mentality that leads to biblical ignorance.

And alongside that is a corporate mentality. We’re tempted to think of the church as a business with a cross stuck on top (if it has a cross at all). “We really shouldn’t look like a church.” I’ve heard that so much I want to vomit. “Why?” I ask. “Do you want your bank to look like a bank? Do you want your doctor’s office to look like a doctor’s office, or would you prefer your doctor to dress like a clown? Would you be comfortable if your attorney dressed like a surfer and showed movies in his office? Then why do you want your church’s worship center to look like a talk show set?”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “When the church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2011/spring/problempizzazz.html

CHURCH STEEPLES, AGING OUT OF FASHION, MEET THEIR MAKER
Nationwide, church steeples are taking a beating and the bell tolls for bell towers, too, as these landmarks of faith on the landscape are hard hit by economic, social and religious change.

Steeplejacks, specialists in clambering up to build or repair the soaring structures, see weather-struck, maintenance-deprived steeples chipped, leaking, even tilting .

Architects and church planners see today’s new congregations meet in retooled sports arenas or shopping malls or modern buildings designed to appeal to contemporary believers turned off by the look of old-time religion…. Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-05-01-church-steeple-repair_n.htm

RESEARCHERS STUDY RETURN ON SHORT-TERM MISSIONS
Research reveals students who participate in short-term mission trips tend to have lower levels of materialism, greater appreciation for other cultures and a better understanding of missions as a lifestyle, says a Baylor University professor studying whether short-term mission trips are good stewardship…. Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/6360/53/

‘MISSIONAL MANIFESTO’ RELEASED BY LEADING MISSIOLOGISTS, PASTORS, THINKERS
“God is a sending God, a missionary God, who has called His people, the church, to be missionary agents of His love and glory.”

This statement forms the basis for the Missional Manifesto (http://www.missionalmanifesto.net/), a recently crafted description of the term “missional.”

“The church on mission is the church as God intended,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research and LifeWay Christian Resources’ missiologist-in-residence. Stetzer announced the Missional Manifesto April 29 at Exponential, the largest church planting conference in North America.

Framers of the Missional Manifesto include leading missiologists, pastors, theologians and authors such as Stetzer, Alan Hirsch, Tim Keller, Dan Kimball, Eric Mason, J.D. Greear, Craig Ott, Linda Bergquist, Philip Nation, and Brad Andrews.

“Through the Missional Manifesto, we hope to clarify what we mean and encourage all God’s people to live on mission,” said Alan Hirsch, a leading author, speaker and missiologist.

The term “missional” has been defined and discussed by different groups. The manifesto intends to clarify what the participants mean by the term and encourage others to live in missional ways…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/629616910.html

Also see “Manifesto offers ‘missional’ clarity”
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=35214

WHEN DOUBT COMES TO TOWN
“I resisted the urge to turn on the radio. I used the opportunity to spend a few minutes with the One I doubted. My prayer, like the hundreds before, continued to be filled with questions: ‘Why do I feel so empty? Why do you feel so distant? Sometimes I feel like I am a robot just going through the motions. It seems I’m more concerned with doing things right than I am with doing the right things. God, why are you so silent?’

“As I drove along Interstate 55 there was no miraculous sign. No message written in the sky. I simply found myself humming a familiar hymn: ‘It is well with my soul.’

“And it was well. Doubt was quick to submerge the meaning of my faith. But in a strange paradox, it was my honest questioning that was now allowing me to grasp God’s hand and be pulled from the water. And when I did, he was there not with a lifeline or a life jacket, but as a living lifeguard. That’s when I realized I didn’t need answers; I wanted a relationship. I needed to be with God.

“Now I think I understand God’s silence. It was the opportunity to see that faith is not so much believing in God, as it is being with God. The most destructive thing we can do to our relationship with God when it is passing through a period of honest uncertainty is to silence our doubts and repress our questions. ‘Doubts that are plowed under will only grow new roots’ [says John Powell].”
Real Relationships: Les and Leslie Parrott in Bad to Better and Good to Great, Updated and Expanded

BELIEVERS WARN NEIGHBORS OF IMPENDING DOOM ON MAY 21
Give these billboards credit: They don’t hedge their bet. Judgment Day is coming May 21, 2011 — not sometime this decade, not sometime this year, but precisely on May 21.

The hundreds of billboards warning unrepentant commuters of their impending doom are courtesy of a California radio station led by 89-year-old Harold Camping, who initially predicted the world would end in 1994.

In New Jersey, about 30 believers paid to erect the signs in hopes of warning and saving their neighbors, said Bob James, a Morristown electrical engineer who organized the grassroots effort.

“Seven billion people are facing their death! What else could I do?” said James, who views the billboards as a message of hope. “When you have this information, with my love for my fellow man, I wanted to tell people.”

Warnings of “end times” are cropping up all over. Along Route 15 in Rockaway Township, a handmade sign has a litany of upheaval that could double as a CNN news crawl: earthquakes, tsunamis, and war…. Read this in full at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/25/believers-warn-neighbors_n_853505.html

SEN. ENSIGN APOLOGIZES IN FINAL FLOOR SPEECH
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) gave a farewell speech on the Senate floor May 2 in which he apologized to his colleagues for having an affair with a campaign aide and warned other senators to guard against the strain of self-importance that led him to stray from his beliefs.

Ensign, who resigned May 3, said when he first arrived in the Senate, he saw people who were caught up in self-importance and never saw himself sliding in the same direction.

“As easy as it was for me to view this in other people; unfortunately, I was blind to how arrogant and self-centered that I had become,” Ensign said. “I did not recognize that I thought mostly of myself…. Read this in full at
http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/158729-sen-ensign-apologizes-for-scandal-in-final-speech-warns-senators-to-guard-against-self-importance

TIRESOME SIN, EXCITING VIRTUE
by Kim Moreland
USA TV network’s hit series White Collar has a storyline that’s simple: FBI agent catches con-man. Con-man serves time, but then agent secures con-man’s early-release to him help catch other criminals. It is a story of good triumphing over evil.

The show is satisfying on a number of levels. Not only is it creative and full of surprising twists, but it also acknowledges that sin is destructive, that there is hope for redemption from sin, and that there are people who possess virtue and are willing to mentor the unredeemed.

White Collar’s two leads are FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), and con-man Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer). Burke’s character has integrity and exhibits courage and honor. Caffrey’s character is deceitful and conniving but attractively urbane. Swirling around the two men are a host of other characters, both good and bad, who are colorful in their own right…. Read this in full at
http://www.breakpoint.org/features-columns/articles/entry/12/16965

VERSE TO PONDER
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Romans 3:23-24

CONSIDER
“From heaven even the most miserable life will look like one bad night at an inconvenient hotel.”
Teresa of Avila

REFORMED DENOMINATIONS JOIN TO PLANT CHURCHES
The Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church are joining together after they split more than 150 years ago to launch a church planting project in four “test areas” across the US.

Dubbed Kingdom Enterprise Zones, the project aims to plan 10 to 20 congregations in western Michigan, Florida, Arizona and California. Both denominations are funding the plan with help from a “significant” grant from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.
The only real difference between the two churches is the CRC’s greater emphasis on Christian schools, said the Rev. Wesley “Wes” Granberg-Michaelson, the outgoing general secretary for the RCA.

“This is not related to church buildings but a gathering of a community of faith,” said the Rev. Julius Medenblik, the president-elect of the CRC’s Calvin Theological Seminary. “The implication would be that this pilot program would affect many more churches than the ones started.” …. Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/05/reformed-denominations-join-to-plant-churches.php

RELIGION, ROYALTY, AND THE MEDIA
by Jonathan Chaplin
Kirsty Wark’s frozen, disdainful grimace said it all. Anchoring Newsnight on the evening of the royal wedding, she found herself completely at a loss to know how to respond to Martin Bashir’s unexpected mention of religion. Presumably invited as a studio guest on the strength of his explosive interview with Princess Diana in 1995, Bashir had the poor taste to point out that the event for which the BBC had been providing round-the-clock coverage was actually a religious service…. Read this in full at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/may/01/christianity-royal-wedding

WILLIAM & KATE WERE JUST PLAYING HOUSE
by Meghan Duke
Cohabitation isn’t really practice for marriage. As any athlete can tell you: As much as you train, it never completely prepares you for the race. You’ll never perfectly simulate in practice the nerves and adrenaline that kick in at the starting block. The race and practice are simply not the same experience, and neither are settling down and what used to be called shacking up….. Read this in full at
http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2011/04/playing-house

THE ROYAL WEDDING HOMILY BY DR. RICHARD CHARTRES, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LONDON
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ…. Read this in full at
http://cathleenfalsani.com/2011/04/29/the-royal-wedding-homily-by-dr-richard-chartres-anglican-bishop-of-london/

CHURCH OF ENGLAND SAYS ATTENDANCE IS GROWING AT CATHEDRALS
Five days after one of Britain’s great churches, London’s Westminster Abbey, was seen on television by millions as the site of a royal wedding, the Church of England released statistics showing that weekly attendance at its 43 cathedrals rose by 7% in 2010.

“Attendance at services outside Sundays has grown more significantly by 10% over the past year…. Steady growth since the beginning of the millennium is encouraging cathedrals to explore the unique position they hold in the life of the nation and is restoring confidence in mission,” commented the Rev. Lynda Barley, head of research and statistics at the Archbishops’ Council, in a news release…. Read this in full at
http://eni.ch/featured/article.php?id=4879

EGYPT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VIOLATIONS CITED
A religious freedom watchdog panel has added Egypt to its list of the worst violators of religious liberty, citing attacks on Coptic Christians that occurred surrounding the downfall of former President Hosni Mubarak.

“The Egyptian government engaged in and tolerated religious freedom violations both before and after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11,” said Leonard Leo, chairman of the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which released its report April 28.

“In his waning months, religious freedom conditions were rapidly deteriorating and since his departure, we’ve seen nothing to indicate that these conditions have improved.” …. Read this in full at

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/28/egypt-religious-freedom-v_n_855181.html

TURKEY CULTIVATES SITES OF ITS CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
Knapsacks shouldered and bibles in hand, a group of Christian pilgrims from Indonesia, China and the United States trooped into the remains of a fourth-century church in ancient Philadelphia last month. Gazing up at the columns that tower over what is today the Turkish market town of Alasehir, the pilgrims listened as their Australian guide read from the Apostle John’s letter to the early Christians of this city, one of the biblical Seven Churches of Revelation.

“It makes you see the Bible in 3-D and color,” the guide, Dan Fennell, said of his tour of historical Christian sites around western Turkey…. Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/world/middleeast/05iht-M05-TURKEY-CHRISTIANS.html

DOES THIS ALTER THE NARRATIVE OF AN INCREASINGLY GODLESS EUROPE?
Attendance levels at regular weekly services in Church of England cathedrals have increased significantly more this year, by 7%. Since the turn of the millennium, they have steadily grown by a total of 37%, which is about 4% on average each year. At Sunday services alone 15,800 adults and 3,100 children and young people are usually present while over the whole week the figures rise (by 73%) to 27,400 and 7,600 respectively. Westminster Abbey adds, on average, 1,800 people each week to these number…. Read this in full at
http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/36339/

AIR FORCE ACADEMY DEDICATES OUTDOOR CHAPEL FOR EARTH-CENTERED GROUPS
Add Wiccans and Druids to the list of faiths that have their own chapel at the Air Force Academy. A circle of stones around an altar was dedicated on a hilltop above the campus Tuesday with earth-centered prayer and speeches about religious liberty at the academy, a school that has long faced criticism as a bastion for evangelical Christianity.

“This outdoor worship space is something we have created to help people of all religions,” Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, the academy’s superintendent, said before a ribbon cutting on the site.

The academy is home to about 10 cadets who regularly attend “earth centered” worship groups. Earth-centered is a catch-all phrase for groups including New Age religion, paganism, Wicca, Druids and ancient Norse beliefs…. Read this in full at
http://www.gazette.com/articles/centered-117435-chapel-academy.html

CONSIDER
“I fail or succeed in my stewardship of life in proportion to how convinced I am that life belongs to God.”
Pearl Bartel

VERSE TO PONDER
“I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, [and] that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: SING WITH ALL THE SAINTS IN GLORY
Words: William J. Irons, 1873
Music: from Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony; adapted by Edward Hodges, 1824

Sing with all the saints in glory, sing the resurrection song!
Death and sorrow, earth’s dark story, to the former days belong.
All around the clouds are breaking, soon the storms of time shall cease;
In God’s likeness we, awaking, know the everlasting peace.

O what glory, far exceeding all that eye has yet perceived!
Holiest hearts, for ages pleading, never that full joy conceived.
God has promised, Christ prepares it, there on high our welcome waits.
Every humble spirit shares it; Christ has passed th’eternal gates.

Life eternal! heaven rejoices; Jesus lives, who once was dead.
Join we now the deathless voices; child of God, lift up your head!
Patriarchs from the distant ages, saints all longing for their heaven,
Prophets, psalmists, seers, and sages, all await the glory given.

Life eternal! O what wonders crowd on faith; what joy unknown,
When, amidst earth’s closing thunders, saints shall stand before the throne!
O to enter that bright portal, see that glowing firmament;
Know, with Thee, O God immortal, “Jesus Christ Whom Thou has sent.”

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/s/i/singwith.htm

ON PRAYER
“When I pray for another person, I am praying for God to open my eyes so that I can see that person as God does, and then enter into the stream of love that God already directs toward that person.”
Philip Yancey

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.

Words Matter
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/blog/archives/4190

KJV Online Gallery
http://www.kjv400celebration.com/onlinegallery

US Navy Seals
http://www.sealswcc.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.)

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
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/

Subscribe!
Subscribe to CONNECTIONS here

Get Archives of all past issues here:
http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/connections/archives_all.html

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