Connections News – 01/29/2012

Connecting man to man to God
For week of January 29, 2012
Issue 393

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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“From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.”
Philippians 4:8 (CEB)

CONSIDER
“Failure is often God’s own tool for carving some of the finest outlines in the character of His children; and even in this life, bitter and crushing failures have often in them the germs of new and quite unimagined happiness.”
Thomas Hodgkin

THE SOUL OF STEVE JOBS
by Gordon MacDonald
Soon after the death of Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, I read Walter Isaacson’s newly released biography, Steve Jobs. Once started, I found it difficult to stop reading (on my iPad) about this complicated man, and I regretted reaching the last page.

Whether one liked or disliked Steve Jobs, he is certainly one of the most talked-about leaders of our time. In his 56-year life, he founded and ultimately led a business organization to a commanding position in the world of technology. He assembled and led teams that produced some of the most admired technological products of our time: Mac Books, iPods, iPhones, iPads. Whole industries came into being because of him.

But Steve Jobs also had many critics. “He mistreated people.” “He was ruthless in his business dealings.” “He was vindictive.” “He lacked compassion.” And that’s just the light stuff.

As I read about Steve Jobs, I dared to imagine a conversation with him in his office at Apple. A fantasy, of course, but a trigger for some sober thought.

We all know that Steve Jobs was not a professing Christian. While he respected Jesus, he walked away from Christianity at an early age—at least in its organized and doctrinal form.

So why write about him in a Christian journal? Answer: because his life yields valuable lessons, positive and negative, on the subject of leadership. It also highlights areas that Christian leaders can enlist to touch the souls of people like him…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2012/winter/soulsteve.html

SUPER BOWL XLVI
The New York Giants will play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI Feb. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, which will be the first time the Super Bowl has been played in Indiana. Indianapolis is the northernmost city in the United States to host the Super Bowl since Detroit hosted Super Bowl XL in 2006. To commemorate this occasion, the Census Bureau has compiled a collection of facts examining the demographics of the host city, as well as the cities represented by the contenders at
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff04.html

SUPER BOWL WINNING COACH TONY DUNGY FEATURED IN FREE DOWNLOADABLE VIDEO MESSAGE FOR GAME WATCHING PARTIES
This year’s football fans gathering at various watch parties will have access to one Super Bowl coach’s personal thoughts during halftime. A free downloadable video kit is available (http://www.adoptionjourney.com/share/dungyhalftime/) to local game watching party organizers which features Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy and his wife Lauren.

The video message includes a personal appeal to Americans on the subject of the current orphan crisis and adoption. Dungy is involved with The Adoption Journey Project to help influence more couples to consider adoption.

“The big win on Super Sunday would be to raise awareness about the millions of children who need a family. I would love to see thousands of local community groups and circles of friends gathering together to stop and consider how they can help,” said Dungy, the winning head coach of the 2007 Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/7597418750.html

FOOTBALL, FAITH AND JOHN 3:16
Most Americans love football and faith. Mixing the two, NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has reinvigorated the debate about public expressions of religion. One of the controversies has been the Denver player’s common practice of writing biblical references — such as John 3:16 — on the black marks beneath his eyes.

Yet, does the typical American even know what this reference means? Last year, the American Bible Society commissioned Barna Group to find out how well Americans understood various aspects of the Bible, including if they could identify what the numbers “3:16” mean. The question mentioned the phrase John 3:16 and asked people to identify, without any predetermined choices, what the “three” means.

Overall, nearly seven out of 10 Americans (68%) were able to identify without any prompting from the interviewers that the “three” in John 3:16 refers to the chapter where the biblical reference is found. More than three out of ten adults either gave an incorrect answer (15%) or ventured no guess (17%)…. Read this in full at
http://www.barna.org/culture-articles/558-football-faith-and-john-316

THE KINGDOM – THE FAMILY BUSINESS – PART II
by Clare De Graaf
The Kingdom (the family business) is the whole enterprise of God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the angels and all true believers (God’s sons and daughters), living on earth and presently living with God. It’s everything that the family of God has done – is doing – and will be doing for all eternity to accomplish the ultimate purposes of God.

When I use the term family business, I don’t want in any way to diminish the majesty and the glory of God, or the seriousness which surrounds the unimaginable power by which he simultaneously manages both the whole universe, as well as what is about to happen to you and the flowers in your garden in the next few minutes. But, think of it this way.

Imagine a business that could literally save the life of every person on earth – they could truly live forever. Not only that, but each of those people whose lives have been saved, would have hope, a loving community around them and a purpose for living – they’d be part of a movement that can actually change life on this planet. And, they’re so grateful; they can’t stop telling others about this company and its founders. In fact, telling that story and helping others discover this new life becomes the driving passion of their lives. That’s the kind of family business I’m talking about! …. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2012/01/23/the-kingdom-%e2%80%93-the-family-business-%e2%80%93-part-ii/

DYING TO MEET HIM: HOW A 30-YEAR-OLD WITH 1 YEAR LEFT TO LIVE THINKS
by Gabrielle Devenish
This past hospital visit (Jan. 3-7), I was told that I am expected to live less than a year, maybe 6 months. I was released from the hospital to home hospice, where I do not intend to die, but to live my life as fully as possible for as long as it may be…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/dying-to-meet-him-how-a-30-year-old-with-1-year-left-to-live-thinks-68017/

HOW TO WEAR JESUS’S EXPRESSION
“What does it mean that human beings are made ‘in God’s image’? How can the profound ideas within this phrase shed light on our calling as humans and our mission as Jesus’ disciples?

“Paul says that we should put off our old corrupt self and live as our new self that is ‘created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:24). We are to be ‘imitators of God,’ displaying his compassion and faithfulness to others. It seems fitting, then, that the way Christ chose to train his disciples was that of the ancient rabbis. As his disciples walked with him day after day, they learned his approach to the Scriptures. But even more importantly, they saw how he lived out his own teaching. They would imitate their rabbi’s example to learn to ‘walk in his way,’ and then go out and disciple others to live that way too.

“Paul illustrates this teaching method when he urged the Corinthians to imitate his example, and then sent his disciple Timothy to be with them.

“Physician Paul Brand relays an experience from when he was training doctors in India that taught him how effective this teaching method is. One morning on rounds, he watched as a young intern interviewed a new patient in the wards. Brand’s student kneeled by the woman’s bed and examined her for signs of pain as he gently inquired about her private past, his calm demeanor reassuring her all the while.

“Suddenly, something caught Brand’s eye about the young man’s expression. It reminded him distinctly of a mentor of his back in England, Professor Pilcher. The resemblance was uncanny, as if the student had taken acting lessons. Later Brand asked the young man if he had ever studied with the esteemed Dr. Pilcher. At first he and his fellow students stared at him, confused, but then they grinned. ‘We don’t know any Professor Pilcher,’ one said. ‘But Dr. Brand, that was your expression he was wearing.’ Thinking back on his own training with Dr. Pilcher, Brand writes:

“‘I had thought I was learning from him techniques of surgery and diagnostic procedures. But he had also imprinted his instincts, his expression, his very smile so that they too would be passed down from generation to generation in an unbroken human chain. It was a kindly smile, perfect for cutting through the fog of embarrassment to encourage a patient’s honesty. What textbook or computer program could have charted out the facial expression needed at that exact moment within the curtain?

“‘Now I, Pilcher’s student, had become a link in the chain, a carrier of his wisdom to students some nine thousand miles away. The Indian doctor, young and brown-skinned, speaking in Tamil, shared few obvious resemblances with either Pilcher or me. Yet somehow he had conveyed the likeness of my old chief so accurately that it had transported me back to university days with a start.’ [Source: In
the Likeness of God by Philip Yancey and Paul Brand]

“Dr. Brand had been imprinted by his mentor’s demeanor and was unconsciously passing it on. In just the same way, as we imitate Christ as his disciples, we carry his image to those around us and cause them to become like him too.”
Lois Tverberg IN Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life

IS THE LOCAL CHURCH DISAPPEARING?
by Jim Coggins
In 2008 and in 2009, CC.com ran series of articles on The State of the Canadian Church. Both series drew extensively on research by pollsters, academics and church leaders. This year, we are looking at some of the same issues, but from the bottom up – from the point of view of the local church.

FOR SALE: 45-year-old, 270-seat church; $4.5 million or best offer.

In the late 1950s, the United Church aimed to have a church in every high school catchment area in Canada. Today, many of those congregations of 200-300 people have dwindled to less than 100. Some have closed altogether, and their buildings are being sold. The same thing is happening with other mainline denominations.

Peter Elliott is chair of the Vision 2019 Task Force – an exercise “to discern, dream, and decide where we think God wants the Anglican Church of Canada to be in 2019.” Elliott also headed an Anglican Diocese of New Westminster study group which, in 2009, presented a strategic plan called ‘Growing Communities of Faith in Jesus Christ to serve God’s Mission in the World.’ The plan analyzed what is required for a vital, sustainable parish…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.ca/frame.asp?http://www.canadianchristianity.com/nationalupdates/100113state.html

HOW WOMEN FUEL THE MAN-BOY PROBLEM
by Ruthie Dean
“Wanna grab a burrito 2nite?” The melody of the Atlanta symphony’s instruments flowed through the auditorium. I didn’t have high expectations for dating at 23, but a text containing the word burrito wasn’t exactly what I had in mind (and with 1 hour notice). I liked him, but couldn’t escape the mental picture of showing up in a swanky outfit to an establishment where my entrance would be announced in a jubilee of “Welcome to Moe’s!”

The resounding question I hear from many single women today is: “Where have all the good men gone?”

Recently, several articles and statistics have shown that women are making history with career achievements, while men in increasing numbers are seemingly living in a prolonged state of adolescence, sitting back with their buddies and playing video games. Cultural observers note that men are not finding compelling reasons to grow up and marry. The former cultural standards of marriage for sex and children have changed drastically in the past 50 years as one-night stands are celebrated and single parenthood accepted.

And women are only fueling this behavior by excusing it…. Read this in full at
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/01/real_women_dont_text_back_how.html

SHOULD I MARRY A MAN WITH PORNOGRAPHY STRUGGLES? MY RESPONSE
by Russell D. Moore
Dear Engaged and Confused,
We all have points of vulnerability, areas of susceptibility to sin and self-destruction. There are beings afoot in the universe who watch these points and who know how to collaborate with our biology and our environment to slaughter us.

Wisdom means knowing where those weak points are, recognizing deception for what it is, and warring against ourselves in order to maintain fidelity to Christ and to those God has given us.

What you need is not a sinless man. You need a man deeply aware of his sin and of his potential for further sin. You need a man who can see just how capable he is of destroying himself and your family. And you need a man with the wisdom to, as Jesus put it, gouge out whatever is dragging him under to self-destruction…. Read this in http://www.russellmoore.com/2012/01/23/should-i-marry-a-man-with-pornography-struggles-my-response/

OPIATE OF THE MASSES?
by Michael Craven
Ever since Karl Marx penned his denunciatory statement on religion in 1843 (that religion is the “opiate of the masses”), secularists, social progressives, and other opponents of religion have worked to convince us that religious faith is an outdated relic of the past whose inexplicable (in their view) existence remains only by means of a stubborn, unenlightened, and uneducated lower class.

Indeed, there appears to be an abundance of data supporting the claim that religious belief in America is — generally speaking — in a state of free fall. In 2009, ABC News, citing a recent study by the American Religious Identity Survey, reported, “In one of the most dramatic shifts, 15 percent of Americans now say they have no religion — a figure that’s almost doubled in 18 years. Americans with no religious preference are now larger than all other major religious groups except Catholics and Baptists” (Dan Harris, “America Is Becoming Less Christian, Less Religious,” March 9, 2009, ABC News)…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Home/Christian%20Living%20Features/11663999/

AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY LEADS FIRST EXCAVATION OF HISTORIC SITE IN ISRAEL
This spring, Azusa Pacific University (APU) embarks on an exciting joint expedition with the Hebrew University of Israel to oversee an archeological dig at Abel Beth Maacah, a site of historical interest long envied by the world’s archeologists.

To date, the mound has not been excavated. Robert Mullins, PhD, associate professor of biblical studies at APU, leads the team along with Nava Panitz-Cohen and Ruhama Bonfil, faculty at the Hebrew University. On Jan. 25—26, 2012, team members plan to conduct an initial survey of the site in preparation for the May 27—31 excavation.

“I can’t overstate the huge potential of this project,” said Mullins. “First, it is an honor to partner with Israel’s oldest and most prestigious university. Given the site’s connection with the period of David and later Kings of Israel, the dig will draw worldwide interest. We can potentially solve questions regarding the nature of Israel’s ties with neighboring Phoenicia and Syria, as well as documenting through the destruction levels the various Aramean and Assyrian military campaigns mentioned in the Bible and other ancient records.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12010126.htm

VICTORY OVER OUR CRAVINGS, ONE MINI-GOAL AT A TIME
“There are days I don’t feel victorious. Like the day when the upstairs toilet clogged and flooded my kitchen ceiling. Or the day I got stuck in traffic, yelled at my kids, and missed an important meeting. Those are the days when my long-term goals to get healthy don’t feel as important as my need for immediate comfort. I just want to blow my healthy eating plan out of frustration with something gooey, sweet, and cream laden.

“I bet you’ve had something occur this week that doesn’t make you feel very victorious either. A sick child, a missed deadline, tension in a friendship, or a number on the scale that almost made you cry. I understand. But may I encourage you? Even in the midst of trying circumstances and bad days, you can be victorious.

“You can be victorious even when the distance between your present reality and your desired goal seems so far apart. How?

“Set mini-goals. Losing twenty, fifty, one hundred pounds, or more can seem so far away. And faraway goals are hard to hang onto when life drains us and it feels like those French fries sure could fill us.

“Set mini-goals physically by getting a strategy for making healthy choices. How can you prepare now to drink eight glasses of water today? What is a healthy snack option you’ll turn to when those afternoon salty and sugary cravings start calling? Are you going out to eat at a restaurant? Use the Internet to look up the nutritional information for their menu so you can make informed healthy choices. If hit with an unexpected temptation today, what healthy go-to script or Bible verse can you arm yourself with in advance to combat justifications and compromises?

“Each mini-goal you accomplish today is a moment of victory.

“We can also set mini-goals spiritually. We will always be most victorious when we are in the center of God’s will. When we are in God’s will, we are able to see our trials from God’s perspective – through the lens of His grace and truth. But what is God’s will?

“The apostle Paul wrote, ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks … for this is God’s will’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). This is an explicit description of what God’s will is. To be in the center of God’s will is to be [someone] who is joyful, prayerful, and thankful.

“Be joyful: Intentionally look around for measures of joy each day. There is joy in simply being alive and in being redeemed by God. Remember, joy is a choice we make, not a feeling we hope to get from our circumstances. It’s good to look for the good, to celebrate it even in small ways. Doing so is a moment of victory.

“Be prayerful: Focus your thoughts on God through prayer. When I was tempted with unhealthy choices, it used to trigger a pity party. Now, I turn my temptations into triggers to pray. Turning to God rather than turning to food is a moment of victory.

“Be thankful: When I focus on how much weight I still need to lose, it brings me down and I start entertaining thoughts of defeat. However, when I focus on all that I’m gaining with God through this process of losing the weight, it makes me all the more determined to keep going. What is something positive you’ve gained during your weight loss journey so far? God’s activity can be seen much more readily when we focus on what we do have rather than what we don’t have.

“We can’t control our circumstances, but we can control our choices. Setting mini-goals physically and spiritually positions us for victory today. Indeed, you can be victorious even when the distance between your present reality and your desired goal seems so far apart.

“Dear Lord, help me to remember that no matter how far away my goal may seem, I am most victorious when I am in the center of Your will. Today I will intentionally look for Your joy as I pray out of a thankful heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Lysa TerKeurst in Made to Crave Devotional: 60 Days to Craving God, Not Food

SKETCHES BRING MODERN TWIST TO ANCIENT TEXT
By Mags Storey
The Arts Engine is touring a funny and honest play about how a 400 year old translation of the Bible shapes the church today. KJV: The Bible Show premiered last year in The Word Festival and is planning a cross-Canada tour in 2012. It was created by actors Ins Choi, Rebecca Davey, Kris Van Soellen and Arthur Wachnik.

“The creative process was a blast,” Wachnik says. “We met together almost daily for about three of four weeks piecing things together. We put all the ideas up on sticky notes on the wall and then when we had enough of them we would shuffle them around and create an order that made sense.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianweek.org/stories.php?id=1864

ANSWERS REALLY ARE IN GENESIS, KEN HAM SAYS
Ken Ham is convinced that if one wants to understand the doctrines of God’s Word, Genesis is the place to start.

Ham, president and founder of Answers in Genesis — which runs the Creation Museum — says Genesis 1-11 is foundational to the rest of the Bible.

“We must start with Genesis if we are going to teach God’s people how to defend the faith in this age of unbelief and skepticism,” Ham said.

An Australian by birth, Ham moved to the U.S. in 1987 and has become one of the most in-demand Christian conference speakers and radio talk-show guests in the nation. He co-founded Answers in Genesis in 1994 with the purpose of upholding the authority of the Bible from the very first verse. The Creation Museum helps do that.

Opened in 2007 near Cincinnati in northern Kentucky, the nearly five-year-old Creation Museum is a 75,000-square-foot facility that offers the visitor a high-tech, multimedia experience that shows how science affirms the Bible’s account of history. More than 1.5 million guests have visited…. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37016

IS CAGE FIGHTING ETHICAL FOR CHRISTIANS?
3 views:
It’s Imprudent: Joe Carter is a Marine Corps veteran and an editor at The Gospel Coalition.

It’s like life: Ted Kluck is a former football coach and missionary, and author of The Reason for Sports: A Christian Fanifesto (Moody, 2009).

It’s not God Honoring: Matt Morin is a former cage fighter and a graduate student at Duke Divinity School…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/january/cage-fighting.html

HELP FOR THE SEXUALLY DESPERATE
by John W. Kennedy
One by one, men trickle into the unadorned upstairs church classroom for their regular Thursday night meeting. But the gathering isn’t to discuss plans for evangelism outreach, worship-song selection, or expanding the nursery.

“I’m Kevin and I’m a recovering sex addict,” one of the eight men seated around the table says shortly after the meeting begins. Each man talks uninterruptedly for up to five minutes about how he’s faced a myriad of sexual temptations. No one is allowed to advise, criticize, defend, or excuse the behavior of another man during this faith-based, 90-minute, 12-step recovery meeting called Operation Integrity.

These aren’t convicted pedophiles or registered sex offenders. They are churchgoers, businessmen, and seemingly model husbands. Throughout the country, there are men by the millions sitting comfortably in church pews every Sunday who haven’t told anyone about their sexual addiction. But the men in this room have come to terms with their own powerlessness over destructive sexual habits.

After sharing their stories, the men take turns reading paragraphs from When Lost Men Come Home, written by Operation Integrity (OI) founder David Zailer. Lively discussion ensues…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/march/18.28.html

VERSE TO PONDER
“Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness. Watch out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted too.”
Galatians 6:1 (CEB)

CONSIDER
“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”
Betty Smith

EVEN THE STONES WILL SHOUT: A MEMORIAL FOR JOHN STOTT
by Brian Nixon
It’s always hard to say goodbye to a friend. Whether for a short time or a longer period-say a lifetime, goodbye is difficult to say.

When John Stott died on July 27, 2011, many who loved him had a difficult time saying farewell. Even from a Christian point of view, when “goodbye” really means, “see you again someday,” loss still is still tough.

But for many, and John Stott in particular, their lives still speak even after their passing.

Case in point: on January 13, 2012, a Memorial and Thanksgiving service was held at the imposing St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, UK, honoring the life, message, and witness of Uncle John – as many around the world called him…. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12010144.htm

Also see
http://www.johnstottmemorial.org/

24 PC(USA) LEADERS ISSUE ‘LETTER OF RECONCILIATION’
Twenty-four leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – many of whom met in Orlando during a gathering which launched a new Reformed body – have written a letter urging reconciliation between the denomination and the dissident group.

According to the Rev. Paul Watermulder, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame, Calif., who originated the letter, its intent is to urge “our General Assembly leadership to immediately become bridge-builders with those churches and leaders who out of conscience have become disaffected from our denomination.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.pcusa.org/news/2012/1/24/24-pcusa-leaders-issue-letter-reconciliation/

9 CRITICAL SHIFTS IN MISSIONS
by Mark Ellis
He grew up as a missionary kid in Hong Kong, where he observed Christian work at his parents’ feet. But globalization and technology changes in the ensuing years have completely altered his perspective on missions and led him to embrace changes some might consider radical.

“I grew up in the black and white world,” says T.J. Addington, the pastor, author and leader of ReachGlobal, the international mission of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). “The world was big, travel was expensive, and there was one way of doing missions,” he notes.

Most of the missionaries he observed went to one destination and stayed there. As the world underwent dynamic shifts through globalization in the 1970s and the PC revolution of the ’80s and ’90s, he saw the need to modify his views to fit the times…. Read this in full at
http://blog.godreports.com/2012/01/nine-critical-shifts-in-missions/

THOMAS MORE LAW CENTER APPEALS NINTH CIRCUIT’S ANTI-GOD DECISION TO THE US SUPREME COURT
The Thomas More Law Center announced today that it has appealed a controversial decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeal was filed in the case of Bradley Johnson v. Poway Unified School District late last week.

For the past twenty-five years, Bradley Johnson, a high school math teacher at the Poway School District located in California had been displaying red, white and blue banners in his classroom that contained patriotic phrases such as: “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under God,” and “God Bless America.”

He displayed the banners pursuant to a 30-year school district policy that permitted teachers to maintain classroom displays of non-curricular messages that reflected their personal opinions and values. In effect, the school district designated classroom walls as forum for the expression of the teacher’s private opinions and viewpoints.

However, in 2007 school officials ordered Johnson to remove his banners because they promoted a “Judeo-Christian” viewpoint…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/3147318765.html

FDR’S D-DAY LANDING PRAYER INCLUSION AT THE WWII MEMORIAL IN WASHINGTON, DC PASSES THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HR 2070, The D-Day Landing Prayer Act which will include Franklin D. Roosevelt’s D-Day Landing Prayer in its entirety in a plaque or inscription at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC passed the US House of Representatives Jan. 24 by a vote of 386-26 The bill now moves to the US Senate for hearings.

Ohio Christian Alliance President Chris Long stated, “This legislation received broad bipartisan support and is worthy of the Senate quickly taking up the measure and presenting it to President Obama for his signature. The vast majority of WWII veterans and their families support this initiative. Many of these brave men, now in their ’80s and ’90s, remember clearly President Roosevelt praying with the nation the morning of the D-Day landings. It is only fitting that this wonderful historical presidential prayer be added to the WWII Memorial, honoring those brave men and women who served our country in WWII…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/7609918774.html

ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, YEARS OF BATTLES AHEAD
By David Skeel
A pair of momentous new government decisions on religion—in particular on whether religious institutions are exempt from secular laws—has given advocates of religious liberty a severe case of whiplash.

Early this month, the Supreme Court held (in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) that a Lutheran school’s decision to dismiss a teacher is an internal church issue that cannot be challenged under federal employment laws.

Just as the decision was beginning to sink in, the federal department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that numerous religious organizations won’t be exempted from ObamaCare’s requirement that employer health-care plans cover all of the costs of contraception. The message to Catholic hospitals and ministries that object to contraception: No accommodation for you…. Read this in full at
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204573704577184762102923798.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

SHHH: POPE URGES SILENCE TO COMMUNICATE BETTER
Pope Benedict XVI is asking everyone to quiet down.

In his annual communications message released Jan. 24, Benedict extolled the sounds of silence. He said a little bit of quiet makes people better listeners and better communicators by giving them more time to think about what they are hearing and saying.

And in a world inundated by Tweets and 24-hour news coverage, that precious time to think and reflect gives words greater value, he said.

“Joy, anxiety and suffering can all be communicated in silence — indeed it provides them with a particularly powerful mode of expression,” he said in his written message…. Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2012-01-24/pope-silence/52764188/1

SHARED PARADISE
by Robert M Geraci
There’s a new flying spaghetti monster in the spiritual marketplace: the Church of Kopimism. The newly “established” religion has become the talk of the internet, in part because of its transparently “unreligious” outlook and in part because of the group’s social perspective. The Church of Kopimism, which received official recognition as a religious denomination in Sweden, objects to what it calls the Copyright Religion and advocates free sharing of information by and for all (Kopimists 2012). Though it lacks any particular resemblance to established religions, Kopimism has “beliefs and rituals,” which are held sufficient to establish it as a legal religious organization.

In the study of religion, we long ago gave up on creating a taxonomy that would—once and for all—allow us to demarcate the sacred from the profane and religious groups from secular. Nevertheless, there is something profoundly unreligious about Kopimism, and it is hard to overlook this glaring reality. Whether it is because the group lacks even the slightest reference to the supernatural or whether its patently political aims overdetermine it, few commentators seem willing to accept Kopimism as a legitimate religion. Indeed, it took several efforts before the Swedish government accepted the group, apparently out of concern that Kopimist practices lack a real form of “worship” (Jackson 2011) …. Read this in full at
http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/publications/sightings/archive_2012/0126.shtml

KIDS IN GRADE SCHOOL THINK FAST
TEACHER: Tommy, why do you always get so dirty?
TOMMY: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are.

TEACHER: Ellen, give me a sentence starting with “I.”
ELLEN: I is…
TEACHER: No, Ellen…Always say, “I am.”
ELLEN: All right…”I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.”

TEACHER: “Can anybody give an example of COINCIDENCE?”
JOHNNY: “Sir, my Mother and Father got married on the same day, same time.”

TEACHER: “George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry tree, but also admitted doing it. Now do you know why his father didn’t punish him?”
JOHNNY: “Because George still had the ax in his hand.”

TEACHER: Now, Sam, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SAM: No sir, I don’t have to, my Mom is a good cook.

TEACHER: Desmond, your composition on “My Dog” is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?
DESMOND: No, teacher, it’s the same dog!

TEACHER: What do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
PUPIL: A teacher.

SILVIA: Dad, can you write in the dark?
FATHER: I think so. What do you want me to write?
SYLVIA: Your name on this report card.
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com

CONSIDER
“Forgiveness means the offense is gone. I may remember the offense, but I will ‘remember it against them no more!’”
David Stoop

VERSE TO PONDER
“But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask.”
James 1:5 (CEB)

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: BREAK, NEWBORN YEAR
Words: Thomas H. Gill, 1855
Music: Arthur Cottman, 1872

Break, newborn year, on glad eyes break,
Melodious voices move;
On, rolling time; thou canst not make
The Father cease to love.

The parted year had wingèd feet;
The Savior still doth stay;
The new year comes; but Spirit sweet,
Thou goest not away.

Our hearts in tears may oft run o’er;
But Lord, Thy smile still beams;
Our sins are swelling evermore,
But pardoning grace still streams.

Lord, from this year more service win,
More glory, more delight:
O make its hours less sad with sin,
Its days with Thee more bright.

Then we may bless its precious things
If earthly cheer should come,
Or gladsome mount on angel wings
If Thou wouldst take us home.

O golden then the hours must be;
The year must needs be sweet;
Yes, Lord, with happy melody
Thine opening grace we greet.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/b/r/e/breaknby.htm

ON PRAYER
“Prayerless people cut themselves off from God’s prevailing power, and the frequent result is the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed, overrun, beaten down, pushed around, defeated. Surprising numbers of people are willing to settle for lives like that.”
Bill Hybels

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.

The Complete Gift Solution
http://www.FranksWorldOfGifts.com

Books, Music & More!
http://www.ChristianConnectionBooks.com

Get your domain name here!
http://www.GoGlobalDomains.com

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

100 Incredible Views Out Of Airplane Windows
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/100-incredible-views-out-of-airplane-windows/

Mountaintop Monastery in the Mist
http://hiddentravelplace.com/2012/01/mountaintop-monastery-in-the-mist-kalabaka-greece/

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.)

Because of God’s grace, failure is never final.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

The CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Contact Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, frank if you’d like to participate in a men’s discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.org/

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http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/connections/archives_all.html

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