CONNECTIONS News – 05/22/2011

For week of May 22, 2011
Issue 357

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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“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
Romans 11:33

CONSIDER
“The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to feel ourselves to be at home here on earth.”
Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), Jesus Rediscovered, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969, p. 31

DALLAS WILLARD ON THE GOSPEL
John Ortberg interviews Dallas Willard at Catalyst. They discuss the gospel as being about getting into heaven *before* you die, not after…. See this interview in full at
Part 1: http://www.outofur.com/archives/2011/05/ur_video_dallas.html
Part 2: http://www.outofur.com/archives/2011/05/ur_video_dallas_1.html

DINNER WITH GOD
“I’m convinced that people today know a lot more about how to become a Christian than about how to be one. Jesus says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.’ This verse isn’t just an invitation to become a believer, but to live as one.

“Jesus isn’t knocking to see what he can give or what he can get. He is knocking because he wants to share a deep relationship. How do we have depth? How do we anchor ourselves in the knowledge of God so that no matter what happens – whether the winds of prosperity or adversity blow – we remain faithful? By knowing God.

“Like the Israelites in the desert, I have found God’s whispers to be like manna – something I need every day. The Israelites didn’t wake up in their tents with full stomachs every morning; they had to go out and gather the precious, life-giving bread. In the same way, I need to gather God’s Word and wisdom for my life every day.

“Many of us are hungry for God’s presence. We want to know and to make God known. If we are going to be God’s people, part of the kingdom, then we must have more than information about God to offer; we must have God dwelling within us.”
Margaret Feinberg in Hungry for God: Hearing God’s Voice in the Ordinary and the Everyday

I’D STAKE MY LIFE THAT STEPHEN HAWKING IS WRONG ABOUT HEAVEN
by Michael Wenham
Like Stephen Hawking, I have been living with motor neurone disease (MND). Like him, I’m one of the lucky few not to have died within months of diagnosis. I’m nine years younger than him and have had the symptoms of the disease for only 10 years, compared with his 49. However for those 10 years I’ve “lived with the prospect of an early death” also. Unlike Professor Hawking I am not a superstar scientist. I’m simply a small-time writer, who used to be a teacher and a vicar.

Hawking says some admirable things, but the idea that I believe in life after death because I’m afraid of the dark is insulting…. Read this in full at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/may/17/stephen-hawking-heaven

ERIC METAXAS, BONHOEFFER AND LIVING LIKE A TRUE CHRISTIAN
Eric Metaxas has had a year now to grasp the success and incredible impact that his biography, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, has had on millions.

But even after a year, the bestselling author is still finding it hard to soak it all in. One thing he’s clear minded about, however, is that the acclaims have little to do with him and everything to do with God and the man who lived what he believed.

“Bonhoeffer was an utterly brilliant theologian but he believed in the God about whom he was talking and he believed it because he lived it. And he was forced to live it because he was living at a time when it was harder for somebody as brilliant and as intellectually honest as Bonhoeffer … to avoid the big questions,” Metaxas said May 12…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/eric-metaxas-bonhoeffer-and-living-like-a-true-christian-50243/

ARE YOU A FAN OR FOLLOWER OF JESUS?
Do you have a fish bumper sticker on the back of your car? A worship song set as your cell phone’s ringtone? Perhaps posters of Christian artists plastered on your room walls? Then maybe, just maybe you are a fan and not a follower of Jesus Christ.

“One of the symptoms [of a fan] is that you think you are a follower,” Pastor Kyle Idleman shared with The Christian Post.

His new book, Not a Fan, explains the difference between being a fan of Jesus and being a devoted follower to him and his gospel. The book offers a diagnostic to see whether or not a person is a fan – something most fans deny being, Idleman noticed.

“We have all kinds of funny ways to measure our relationship with God and have things that we point to as evidence, like the fact that there is a fish on our bumper or people will talk about the fact that their grandparents went to church or that they have four Bibles in their house.”

Idleman, a preacher’s son himself, shared that when he was young he fit the description of a fan. He wore the t-shirt saying “this blood is for you,” and next to a poster of Michel Jordan he had a picture of Jesus. “I wanted to be like Jesus but I wanted to be like Mike,” he said in a video.
While working on a message to preach to 30,000 attendees at Southern Christian Church, he realized the celebrity-driven fan culture is permeating Christianity. But “Jesus doesn’t want fans, he wants completely committed followers.” Since then, what began as a sermon evolved into a movement that got people evaluating their relationship with Jesus…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/are-you-a-fan-or-follower-of-jesus-50267/

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY CANADA UNVEILS NEW HEADQUARTERS
For the first time since opening its first Canadian office more than 27 years ago, Focus on the Family Canada is no longer required to pay rent.

The ministry began in 1983 with a couple of people working out of a small office in downtown Vancouver. Today, its 65 local employees – five more are based in other parts of the country – work out of a new, wholly-owned building in Langley. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for June 17.

Focus Canada president Terence Rolston sees the 24,000 square-foot facility as not just a testimony to God’s faithfulness to the ministry over those years, but more importantly as a new foundation for future growth in order to better serve Canada’s families and the many challenges they face…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianweek.org/stories.php?id=1562

RICHARD MOUW: OSAMA BIN LADEN IS IN HELL
Dr. Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, spoke for the first time this week on the death of Osama bin Laden, saying he believes bin Laden is in hell for being one of the “unrepentant wicked.”

His comments were delivered May 11 during a discussion on Christian responses to bin Laden’s death at the seminary’s Pasadena campus. Mouw called the event an “important time for communal discernment and pastoral theological reflection.”

Speaking about the issue of heaven and hell as it relates to the al-Qaida leader’s death, Mouw said he couldn’t avoid the “Rob Bell discussion.” In March, the Fuller president had written a commentary defending Bell’s view on hell, saying he didn’t think the Love Wins author to be a universalist.

Following bin Laden’s death, someone called Mouw and asked, “So do you think Osama bin Laden went to hell?”

“I want to say yes,” said the evangelical leader during the discussion. “Article 10 of the Fuller Statement of Faith says, ‘the wicked shall in the end be eternally separated from God.’ So far as Osama bin Laden is one of the wicked and one of the unrepentant wicked, I believe he is condemned to an eternity apart from God,” he stated…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/richard-mouw-osama-bin-laden-is-in-hell-50228/

INTERVIEW WITH EUGENE PETERSON
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly profiles writer and retired Presbyterian minister Eugene Peterson. His latest book is “The Pastor,” a memoir that includes Peterson’s concerns about how hard it is for pastors and everyone else to live Christian lives in modern America. Peterson is best known for one of his many earlier books, “The Message,” his translation of the entire Bible into everyday American English. “The Message” has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

Peterson lives now in northwestern Montana near Glacier National Park. In late winter it is both majestic and full of life. Peterson grew up nearby, in Kalispell in the Flathead Valley. His father was a butcher who built a summer place on Flathead Lake, which Peterson and his wife, Jan, expanded and improved. Peterson was asked about his theology, but he said he has little time for anything abstract. He listens for the holy, he said, in people and in the quiet of the place he loves.

EUGENE PETERSON: How do you pay attention to the unheard, the unseen? In a cluttered, noisy, distracted society it’s very hard to do it. A lot of the language in the church — well, not just the church, in religion itself — has to do with trying to figure out the truth of things. What’s true? What’s true? And I’m not really interested in what’s true. I want to know if I can live it. I want to test it out…. See this interview and read the transcript in full at
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/may-13-2011/eugene-peterson/8806/

YOU ARE WHAT YOU WORSHIP
In this video clip from Catalyst Leadership, Louie Giglio points out how our worship shapes the person we become….
http://christianitytoday.imirus.com/Mpowered/book/vcat11/i4/p2

VERSE TO PONDER
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
Hebrews 1:3

CONSIDER
“The Christian man must aim at that complete obedience to God in which life finds its highest happiness, its greatest good, its perfect consummation, its peace.”
William Barclay

PHILIP YANCEY: GOD CAN REDEEM EVERY SEASON OF THE SOUL
The bestselling author of What’s so Amazing about Grace? was recently at the start of his nine-date tour around the UK, titled Seasons of the Soul.

He was at the Christian Resources Exhibition in Esher, Surrey to deliver a reassuring message of God’s ability to redeem even the most broken of lives and work through every season of the soul.

He spoke honestly about his own bad experiences in the church, even describing the church he grew up in as “toxic.”

It was an unhealthy church, he shared, a church that “represented death in many ways, not life,” and he grew up expecting God to “smash” his hard and cynical shell. That was not the case, however.

“That was the image of God given to me in the church [but] God didn’t do that,” he said. “God melted that shell through life, through spring. Nature was a part of that, love was a part of that…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/philip-yancey-god-can-redeem-every-season-of-the-soul-50246/

GOD IS WITH US
“It is not enough to hold that God did great things for our fathers: not enough to pride ourselves on the inheritance of victories of faith: not enough to build the sepulchres of those who were martyred by men unwilling as we may be to hear new voices of a living God. Our duty is to see whether God is with us; whether we expect great things from Him; whether we do not practically place Him far off, forgetting that if He is, He is about us, speaking to us words which have not been heard before, guiding us to paths on which earlier generations have not been able to enter. There is, most terrible thought, a practical atheism, orthodox in language and reverent in bearing, which can enter a Christian Church and charm the conscience to rest with shadowy traditions, an atheism which grows insensibly within us if we separate what cannot be separated with impunity, the secular from the divine, the past and the future from the present, earth from heaven, the things of Caesar from the things of God.”
Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), The Historic Faith, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1883, p. 40-41

CALLING FROM A DISCONNECTED PHONE CAN BE FRUSTRATING
By Bill Ellis
In the midst of the communication era, there are times when we cannot communicate simply because we are not connected. If man invented it, built it and operates it, there will be times when it will not work.

Doctors will often tell their patients, “You have a virus.” That means things are not going well. You do not feel good. All kinds of prescriptions attempt to work together to help you recover. Such things as antibiotics, over the counter medicines, certain food, lots of rest are all combined as part of the prescription package.

We are often warned about the possibility of our computer mal-functioning or completely shutting down because it has a virus. A computer virus can be crippling. It can stop everything you are trying to do…. Read this in full at
http://www.sloppynoodle.com/wp/calling-from-a-disconnected-phone-can-be-frustrating/

THE HOLY GRAIL OF COMMUNITY
“After years of searching full-time for the holy grail of community, I have found nothing as compelling as the neighborhood. Neighborhood or place-based community allows us to draw the greatest number of people into a circle-our spouse, children, other Christians, those who don’t believe in or follow Jesus, older people, younger people. With a little intentionality it can also contain most of the activities we currently commute to. Most important, neighborhood community enables us to park our cars and to see people between events as we engage in our everyday activities. It is in these frequent and spontaneous encounters that so much of the richness of life is experienced.

“The power of place-based community is that it creates the most tangible circle of relationships-the place where everyone of various ages and backgrounds knows you and can also know each other. This is not a new idea but one that has stood the test of time over the centuries.

“How about a game night? What if you formed a small group with people in your neighborhood? What if your small group decided to reach out to the poor and needy around you-or visited the local nursing home once a month? … What if you planned a Fourth of July block party? What if you took walks through the neighborhood with those who were interested? What if you concentrated on sharing your faith with those neighbors you, your family, and other believers in your neighborhood were already connected to? What if you just enjoyed a simple conversation as you ran into each other as you took out the trash or retrieved the mail? The possibilities are endless.”
Rozanne and Randy Frazee in Real Simplicity (Expanded Edition of Making Room for Life)

WHAT’S HAPPENING TO CHURCH MEMBERSHIP?
by Amy Frykholm
When I went to church recently with a friend, we didn’t attend her church because she doesn’t have a church anymore. She was once a loyal member of a church but dropped her membership when she was disappointed by a change in leadership. Since then, she’s attended various churches but never joined one. One might say she’s church shopping, but the shopping has gone on so long that it’s clear she has no intention of buying—of joining a church. She meets regularly with a small group for Bible study, and her children attend youth groups of various kinds, but she is not affiliated with a particular church.

My friend is not unusual. A set of 2010 Gallup polls revealed that while religious participation (at least self-reported participation) is on the rise, Americans are less likely to identify with a particular religious group. People do not belong to churches the way they once did, even when they show up for religious services…. Read this in full at
http://christiancentury.org/article/2011-05/loose-connections

VIRAL YOUVERSION BIBLE APP SOARS PASS 20 MILLION DOWNLOADS
The YouVersion Bible app celebrated another milestone in May as it surpassed 20 million downloads and its developer’s expectations. Downloads for the free Bible app has jumped by 5 million since February, with 2 million download or roughly one new person every 1.1 seconds in April alone.

The creators of YouVersion, the team at Lifechurch.tv in Edmond, Okla., have been thrilled with the results. “People are sharing it with each other on Facebook and Twitter. It’s really created a viral effect,” said Bobby Gruenewald, innovation leader at Lifechurch.tv, to The Christian Post. “The pace has been increasing and picking up. We are really excited because we see more people engaging in the Bible.”

Gruenewald said he believes the YouVersion Bible app is sparking a “Bible-engagement revolution,” leading to the most scripturally-engaged generation ever…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/viral-youversion-bible-app-soars-pass-20-million-downloads-50237/

BIBLE APPS QUICKLY BECOMING TECHNOLOGY TOOL FOR GREAT COMMISSION WORK WORLDWIDE
by Jeremy Reynalds
When Bible apps began to appear in the App Store and the Android Market, very few would have predicted the rapid growth and quick acceptance of the technology by millions within the faith community and beyond.

According to a news release from Audio Bible Ministry Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH), with the success of apps like YouVersion, Olive Tree and FCBH’s Bible.is, the way people access God’s Word has been dramatically transformed.

Because of the portability of the devices the apps run on, people can essentially carry their Bible with them wherever they go. FCBH said in some cases, they have access to Scripture in multiple versions and languages right in the palm of their hand…. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2011/s11050101.htm

MY TAKE: HOW TECHNOLOGY COULD BRING DOWN THE CHURCH
by Lisa Miller
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, and Bible publishers are ostentatiously commemorating the landmark by producing an abundance of gorgeous doorstops. Leather bound Bibles. Two-volume sets. Replicas of the 1611 version complete with “original” illustrations.

The hoopla is entirely justified, since the King James Bible revolutionized Bible reading, bringing Scripture into a common vernacular for the first time for the English-speaking world.

It is not too much to say that the King James Bible – mass produced as it was, thanks to a new technology called the printing press – democratized religion by taking it out of the hands of the clerical few and giving it to the many.

Today, another revolution in Bible reading is underway – one that has nothing to do with gilt-edged paper. If the King James Bible brought the Bible to the English-speaking masses, today’s technology goes a giant step further, making Scripture – in any language and any translation – accessible to anyone on earth with a smartphone…. Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/15/my-take-how-technology-could-bring-down-the-church/

PEOPLE OF THE NOOK
by Leslie Leyland Fields
A couple of Sundays ago, my husband, son, and I enacted a mini-drama from a script that has likely played out in every churchgoing family in America. Never mind that we live in Kodiak, Alaska, thousands of miles from the rest of the country. Electronics, we know, are borderless.

During the sermon, with our heads intently bent over our study Bibles, my husband and I glanced down the pew to see our teenage son leaning over his cell phone. Texting during the sermon? My husband, later claiming self-defense, drew his own cell from his holster and began furiously sending texts to the other end of the pew. Teenage son didn’t respond, which drew more urgent messages. No response again. By now we were steaming toward a march around the center pews to snatch the offensive item from the perpetrator’s hands. Thankfully, “we’ll get him later” prevailed.

By now you’ve already guessed the ending of this vignette. The response to our accusations: wide eyes and sly protestations of innocence before whipping out the cell phone — with the Bible fully downloaded on it. Ah, the snarky pleasure on his face…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/may/peoplenook.html

CHRISTIANIZING THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Blogger Tim Challies understands both technology’s potential and its potential seduction. He uses emerging tools to keep his 15,000 visitors updated daily at Challies.com. His new book, The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion (Zondervan), considers our reliance on technology and how it impacts our faith. Matthew Lee Anderson spoke with Challies about how Christians might think theologically about technology.

Q: You write that we are “molded and formed into the image of what shapes us.” What risks do technologies like Facebook and YouTube pose to the Christian life?
A; When technologies give us an ability, they also give us a desire. Before Twitter or Facebook, none of us cared about moment-by-moment updates from friends. But with the new tools, we’ve grown to desire—and sometimes even demand—that sort of information. YouTube heightens and preys upon our desire to see and be seen. It makes us exhibitionists, telling us that any part of the human experience can be someone’s entertainment…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/may/christianizingnetwork.html

HIGH-TECH ROBOTS BRING BIBLE HISTORY TO LIFE
The words “high-tech” and “ancient artifacts” don’t usually go together but at the new “Passages” Bible exhibit, which debuted May 16 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, high-tech robots are combined with ancient Bible manuscripts to help bring the story of translation and preservation of the Bible to life.

One room features first edition-works of 16th century Protestant reformer William Tyndale, best known for translating large parts of the Bible into English. An animatronic likeness of Tyndale, who was sentenced to death for heresy, delivers his final words as he is being choked to death.

St. Jerome also resurrects from the grave as an animatron in a cave setting, where he is transcribing the pages of the Bible into Latin by candlelight.

By the time visitors are done with exploring “Passages,” they will have experienced over 14,000 square feet of interactive Bible history spanning over 2,000 years. The non-sectarian, worldwide traveling exhibition is based on The Green Collection, one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. The Green Collection is owned by the Green family, the founders and owners of arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/high-tech-robots-bring-bible-history-to-life-50259/

THE FIGHT OVER BILLY GRAHAM’S LEGACY
by Lisa Miller
Billy Graham was upstairs, napping. In the kitchen of the mountaintop home where he and his wife, Ruth, raised their five children, the table was set for lunch. Except for a flickering candle on that table and the exuberant pacing of two large dogs named China and Lars, the house was still, as empty as a museum after hours. The walls—witness to so many squabbles and pranks, prayers and hymns, private conversations with would-be presidents, rock stars, and prizefighters—did not speak.

A floorboard creaked above me. May I see him? I asked. May I say hello? No, said his son Franklin. In early May I made a pilgrimage to Montreat, N.C., where Billy Graham’s pugnacious fourth child was giving me a tour of the family home. Franklin had just made headlines for aligning himself with the “birthers” and questioning the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s Christian beliefs—statements he clarified after emphatic pushback from the White House. Now Franklin, who took charge of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) in 2000, explained the importance of protecting his father from the press. Daddy, as all the children call him, no longer hears very well. Were he to misunderstand a question, or were a casual remark to be taken out of context … well, that was a risk Franklin didn’t want to take…. Read this in full at
http://www.newsweek.com/2011/05/15/the-fight-over-billy-graham-s-legac.html

THE TIRE IRON AND THE TAMALE
by Justin Horner
During this past year I’ve had three instances of car trouble: a blowout on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out-of-gas situation. They all happened while I was driving other people’s cars, which for some reason makes it worse on an emotional level. And on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and extra fuses in my own car, and know enough not to park on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel.

Each time, when these things happened, I was disgusted with the way people didn’t bother to help. I was stuck on the side of the freeway hoping my friend’s roadside service would show, just watching tow trucks cruise past me. The people at the gas stations where I asked for a gas can told me that they couldn’t lend them out “for safety reasons,” but that I could buy a really crappy one-gallon can, with no cap, for $15. It was enough to make me say stuff like “this country is going to hell in a handbasket,” which I actually said.

But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke any English…. Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/magazine/06lives-t.html?_r=1

THE US CENSUS BUREAU SAYS AMERICANS ARE STAYING MARRIED LONGER.
Americans may be postponing marriage, and fewer are wedding at all. But what about the people who do get married? They’re staying together longer than they have in years. Three in four couples who married after 1990 celebrated a 10-year anniversary, according to census statistics reported May 18. That was a rise of 3 percentage points compared with couples who married in the early 1980s, when the nation’s divorce rate was at its highest…. Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/number-of-long-lasting-marriages-in-us-has-risen-census-bureau-reports/2011/05/18/AFO8dW6G_story.html

SAN FRANCISCO TO VOTE ON MALE CIRCUMCISION
San Francisco voters will decide whether to ban male circumcision in the November 8 municipal election. Activists gathered enough signatures to put a proposal on the ballot, the city’s election board confirmed May 18.

The measure aims to prohibit all male circumcisions in San Francisco. Led by Lloyd Schofield who is part of a Bay Area “inactivist” group, the advocates want to eliminate the surgery and liken it to “male genital mutilation.”

Schofield and the “inactivists” seek to make it “unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis” of anyone 17 or younger in San Francisco. Under the proposal, a person who violates the proposed ban could be jailed (not more than one year) or fined (not more than $1,000). Exemptions for religious reasons would not be allowed…. Read this in full at
http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/18/sf-to-vote-on-male-circumcision-in-november/?hpt=T2

US SUPREME COURT WON’T HEAR CHALLENGE TO ‘SO HELP ME GOD’
The Supreme Court is brushing aside an atheist’s challenge to religion in government, refusing to hear a complaint about President Barack Obama adding “so help me God” to his inaugural oath of office.

The high court May 16 refused to hear an appeal from Michael Newdow, who argued that government references to God are unconstitutional and infringe on his religious beliefs. Many presidents have added “so help me God” to the oath…. Read this in full at
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110516/ap_on_re_us/us_supreme_court_so_help_me_god

RELIGION NEWS SERVICE ENTERS NONPROFIT PARTNERSHIP WITH RELIGION NEWSWRITERS FOUNDATION
Religion News Service (RNS), which for 77 years has been the nation’s leading syndicated wire service devoted to unbiased coverage of religion, ethics and spirituality, will become a nonprofit on June 1, 2011, in an innovative new relationship with the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) and its affiliated institution, Religion Newswriters Foundation (RNF). The collaboration also forges ties between RNS and the University of Missouri School of Journalism and its Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Founded in 1934, RNS has been owned since 1994 by Advance Publications, Inc. On June 1, 2011, the company will transfer RNS assets to Religion News LLC, a new 501(c)(3) entity affiliated with RNF, according to an agreement finalized May 19…. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/pressreleases/religion_news_service_enters_nonprofit_partnership_with_religion_newswriter/

IS YOUR RELIGION YOUR FINANCIAL DESTINY?
The economic differences among the country’s various religions are strikingly large, much larger than the differences among states and even larger than those among racial groups.

The most affluent of the major religions — including secularism — is Reform Judaism. Sixty-seven percent of Reform Jewish households made more than $75,000 a year at the time the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life collected the data, compared with only 31% of the population as a whole. Hindus were second, at 65%, and Conservative Jews were third, at 57%…. Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/magazine/is-your-religion-your-financial-destiny.html?_r=1

ISRAEL REMOVES LAND MINES FROM SITE OF JESUS’ BAPTISM
Pilgrims are flowing back to the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism on the Jordan River as Israel removes 40-year-old land mines and makes improvements to the area.

“It is a very sensitive place politically and religiously and is of importance to both Christians and Jews,” said Lt. Col. Ofer Mey-tal, of the department of Civil Administration, who oversees the project.

Located in a closed military area on the West Bank near Jericho, the site — has been revered since the fourth or fifth century as the place where John the Baptist recognized Jesus as the Messiah. Jewish tradition holds this also is where the ancient Israelites crossed into the Promised Land following their flight from Egypt…. Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/05/israel-removes-land-mines-from-site-of-jesus-baptism.php

GERMAN WINS WORLD BEST BEARD TITLE AT NORWAY CONTEST
A German hairdresser has won the title of world’s best beard at the World Beard and Moustache Championship in Trondheim, Norway. Elmar Weisser, 47, beat 160 contestants to the prize with his elaborate facial hair sculpture of a moose.

It is the third time Mr Weisser has emerged as champion. In 2005 he won with with a beard styled into the shape of Berlin’s Brandenberg Gate, and in 2007 with a representation of London’s Tower Bridge…. Read this in full at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13407712

See photos at “Tickle your fancy at the World Beard and Moustache Championships”
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/05/10/norway.beard.moustache.championship/?hpt=C2
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/05/17/norway.beard.championship.results/index.html?hpt=C2

Also see
http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com/

CONSIDER
“At the profoundest depths in life men talk not about God, but with Him.”
Elton Trueblood

VERSE TO PONDER
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
Romans 13:8

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
“Why pray? Evidently, God likes to be asked. God certainly does not need our wisdom or our knowledge, nor even the information contained in our prayers (“your Father knows what you need before you ask him”). But by inviting us into the partnership of creation, God also invites us into relationship. God is love, said the apostle John. God does not merely have love or feel love. God is love and cannot not love. As such, God yearns for relationship with the creatures made in his image.”
Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

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.

Past False Prophecies of Judgment Days
http://www.rose-publishing.com/client/emarketing/email0911/html_email.html

Slow-motion breakfast interrupted
http://www.likecool.com/Breakfast_Interrupted–Video–Gear.html

Pendulum Waves
http://www.likecool.com/Pendulum_Waves–Video–Gear.html

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.)

To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
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!
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Get Archives of all past issues here:
http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/connections/archives_all.html

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