CONNECTIONS – 03/18/2012

Connecting man to man to God
For week of March 18, 2012
Issue 400

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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“Make every effort to add moral excellence to your faith; and to moral excellence, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; and to godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. If all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:5-8 (CEB)

CONSIDER
“Don’t raise your voice; improve your argument.”
Paul Alexander, Professor of Christian Ethics and Public Policy, Palmer Theological Seminary

LEE STROBEL: WHY DOES GOD ALLOW PAIN, SUFFERING?
Christian apologist Lee Strobel spoke at an apologetics conference March 10 from Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and simulcast to more than 75 churches throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia. He was one of four speakers at the event called, “The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask.”
“We don’t have a complete answer [as to why
God allows suffering]. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says on this side of heaven we sort of see things dimly (paraphrase). We don’t understand everything. We are not God,” says. He’s the author of The Case for Faith, Strobel. “But, I believe that God has revealed enough to us that we do have enough of a satisfactory answer to minister to our hearts and souls to this particular question.”

Jesus was honest about this issue, he said. “There are Eastern religions that deny the reality of pain and suffering. They just try to wipe it away by saying it’s all an illusion. Well, Jesus didn’t call it an illusion. In John 16:33 Jesus said, ‘In the world you are going to have tribulation.’ You are going to have trouble. You are going to have pain. You are going to have suffering,” Strobel insisted. “Why? Because we live in a sin scarred cosmos.”

Even though the issue of pain and suffering is a legitimate topic it does not negate all of the positive, affirmative evidence we have for the existence of God, he said.

Strobel then asked, “So, what does God reveal about this issue to us to help us process?” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/lee-strobel-why-does-god-allow-pain-suffering-71201/

ATHEISTS LIKELY TO OUTNUMBER CHRISTIANS IN ENGLAND IN 20 YEARS
According to a new study, Christianity is waning in England and could be outnumbered by nonbelievers within 20 years. The study, conducted by the British Parliament, shows there are 41 million Christians in Britain, down nearly 8% since 2004. The number of nonbelievers is 13.4 million, up 49% over the same period.

Researchers at the House of Commons Library conclude Christianity has declined to 69% of the population while atheists have increased to 22%.

“If these populations continue to shrink and grow by the same number of people each year, the number of people with no religion will overtake the number of Christians in Great Britain in 20 years,” the study says.

It also finds that from 2004-2010, the number of Muslims in England grew by 37%, to 2.6 million. The Hindu and Buddhist populations also grew substantially, and the number of Jews slightly decreased…. Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/atheists-likely-to-outnumber-christians-in-england-in-20-years/2012/03/09/gIQA2Bqb1R_story.html

ANT LANGUAGE – PART II
by Clare De Graaf
Last week I introduced the term “ant language”. If you accept my premise and explanation it will allow you to identify and faithfully hold to the core beliefs of the Christian faith which we’ll get to in this blog and enable you to articulate them to your children. It also helps explain why serious Christians who love God and have a high view of scriptures can disagree on so many doctrinal and faith practice issues.

The vast majority of Christians have believed certain core doctrines for 2,000 years, like the deity, life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Those beliefs must be held by every individual who claims to be a Christian. But who can honestly say that they truly understand the deeper mysteries of the doctrine of atonement, all the implications the resurrection for believers today, what goes on spiritually when a person is born again, baptized or when we’re taking communion?

Younger people see debates on these issues of theology where good Christians differ, not only as energy leaks, but the attitude and arrogance of the debaters themselves as sinful. It doesn’t shore up their faith. They want to run for the door. And they are. I think we can do something about that…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2012/03/12/ant-language-part-ii/

OUR VAST UNIVERSE
“The entire Universe is estimated to have at least hundreds of billions of galaxies, spread out over a spherical region about a million times larger in diameter than our galaxy is. In other words, you and everything you know resides on a tiny, wet rock nearly a million times less massive than the star that powers it, in a solar system one ten-millionth the diameter of our galaxy, which contains at least hundreds of billions of stars not so different from ours, in a Universe filled with hundreds of billions of galaxies, and maybe perhaps more.” Ethan Siegel
http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/03/remember_how_tiny_we_all_are.php

I AM MORE AFRAID OF DEATH THAN I SHOULD BE
by Sharon Hodde Miller
You may have heard the story about an American Airlines plane that was grounded at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport following an incident that sent two flight attendants to the hospital, and led to the arrest of one as well. I happened to be on that plane….

…As a Christian who believes in Jesus and the eternal life he offers, I know where I’m going. Intellectually speaking, I have no reason to be afraid of death. In fact, I should welcome perfect reunion with my Creator. Why fear it?

And yet I didn’t face my mortality with the courage and anticipation that my theology would imply. Despite Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15, I quivered before the sting of death. That response has been troubling to me.

Throughout the Bible, the phrase “Do not fear” appears 35 times. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God did not give us a spirit of fear, and countless other passages reassure us that God’s faithfulness should give us peace. He is in control, He is good, and death does not have the last word.

It is because of passages like these that I have never had much use for fear. I’ve always considered it a wasted emotion. Years ago, I resolved never to make decisions based on fear because it is so often an enemy of wisdom. Rarely is fear a speaker of truth…. Read this in full at
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/03/my_experience_on_flight_2332.html

WORLD RELIGIONS CURRICULUM STAYS: SUPREME COURT
A Supreme Court decision on Quebec’s mandatory Ethics and Religious Culture program is stirring up debate among evangelicals.

In 2008, Quebec began requiring all students in the province to use the Ethics and Religious Culture curriculum, whether they are in private school, public school or home-schooled. Students from Grade 1 to Grade 11 are taught about religion in Quebec’s history and contemporary culture, world religions, and how to make ethical decisions…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianweek.org/stories.php?id=1925

CONSTITUTION ADVOCATES SEEK TO RESTORE FREEDOM OF RELIGION CLAUSE TO ORIGINAL MEANING
A group of lawyer advocates for constitutional rights submitted an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court March 14 which seeks to restore the original intent framers of the Constitution had when they penned the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/constitution-advocates-seek-to-restore-freedom-of-religion-clause-to-original-meaning-71464/

MAN-CENTERED CHRISTIANITY
“Christianity today is man-centered, not God-centered. God is made to wait patiently, even respectfully, on the whims of men. The image of God currently popular is that of a distracted Father, struggling in heartbroken desperation to get people to accept a Saviour of whom they feel no need and in whom they have very little interest. To persuade these self-sufficient souls to respond to His generous offers God will do almost anything, even using salesmanship methods and talking down to them in the chummiest way imaginable. This view of things is, of course, a kind of religious romanticism which, while it often uses flattering and sometimes embarrassing terms in praise of God, manages nevertheless to make man the star of the show.”
A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Man: The Dwelling Place of God, Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, Inc., 1966, p. 27

Q&A: GABE LYONS TALKS CHRISTIANS IN A RESISTANT CULTURE
Gabe Lyons wants to help Christians understand what’s happening in the culture today, namely that being a Christian no longer draws the respect and acceptance it once did in America. Christians have, in fact, become somewhat of a “repellant” to a lot of people today, he said.

“We are almost starting over in a lot of ways in presenting what it means to be a Christian in a culture that’s got more options than ever and is kind of resistant to Christians,” said the author of The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live the Gospel and Restore the World.

The Next Christians is being released on paperback and contains new content including a chapter on being civil rather than divisive…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/qa-gabe-lyons-talks-christians-in-a-resistant-culture-71424/

EVANGELICALS’ COLLAPSING CULTURAL INFLUENCE
by David French
On a day when many evangelicals are perhaps flexing their political muscles in the aftermath of their decisive votes in Alabama and Mississippi, it’s worth pondering whether evangelicals’ actual cultural (rather than political) influence is waxing or waning…. Read this in full at
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/293457/evangelicals-collapsing-cultural-influence-david-french

TRIAL ON ANTIQUITIES FRAUD ENDS, BUT NOT THE CONTROVERSY
For the first time in history, a criminal court has ruled on a case of antiquities forgery. One antiquities collector has been acquitted of all charges and another has been acquitted of all but several minor charges. The verdict is still out on the validity of an inscription that ties an ancient relic to the family of Jesus of Nazareth, although many Bible scholars say they have made their own decision.

In 2002, Christianity Today and other major news outlets carried the announcement of the discovery of an ossuary bearing an Aramaic inscription, “James, the son of Joseph, the brother of Jesus.” This carved stone box, typical of those used in Jewish burials of the first century, was suggested to be the repository of the bones of the brother of Jesus Christ. After Jesus’ death, James led the early church in Jerusalem until his death by stoning in AD 62.

The ossuary itself was undoubtedly authentic. But within months the Israel Antiquities Authority charged that the last part of the inscription, the portion mentioning Jesus, was fabricated. Scientific investigators reported that the patina, the aging of the surface, had been tampered with…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/marchweb-only/trial-fraud-controversy.html

ARCHAEOLOGIST ASSEMBLING WORLD’S LARGEST BIBLICAL ARTIFACTS MUSEUM
A collector deemed “the Indiana Jones of biblical archaeology” has helped amass the world’s biggest private collection of biblical texts and artifacts, which are on a worldwide traveling tour and will be on display one day at a nonsectarian Bible museum.

Dr. Scott Carroll has personally inspected, studied, and bought nearly 50,000 ancient biblical papyri, texts, and artifacts since Nov. 2009, when he was hired by the Green Collection, named after the Green family, founders and leaders of Hobby Lobby, the world’s largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer, the ToledoBlade.com reported.

Among the highlights of the Green Collection are one of the largest private collections of Dead Sea Scrolls; 4,000 Jewish Torahs; rare illuminated manuscripts; early tracts and Bibles belonging to Martin Luther; and the Western Hemisphere’s largest collection of cuneiform tablets, an early form of writing…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/archeologist-assembling-worlds-largest-biblical-artifacts-museum-71417/

HOW TO INTERPRET THE SCRIPTURES
by Mike Smith
A church member will sometimes ask how I go about interpreting the scriptures. I am tempted to answer, “On the run,” since I preach and teach several times each week. Thinking more about the question, here are some guidelines.

First, read the scriptures. Take your time. Expect to become confused along the way. Listen for the larger story in which all the particular tales find their place: God at work to rescue all creation by all the means at God’s disposal.

Second, be aware of the interpretive grid you bring to the task. We all bring presuppositions to the work of interpreting the scriptures, assumptions drawn both from secular and religious culture. History is filled with discarded presuppositions: slavery as normative and acceptable in God’s sight, sickness and poverty as signs of God’s disfavor and women as the property of men. As a rule, it’s best to assume the scriptures confront rather than reinforce our presuppositions…. Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/7147/9/

JONI EARECKSON TADA TO RECEIVE WILBERFORCE AWARD
Joni Eareckson Tada, renown for her advocacy on behalf of the disability community, will be honored with the prestigious Wilberforce Award during the annual Wilberforce Weekend held March 30-April 1 in Lansdowne, Va. The award is named for William Wilberforce, the British parliamentarian who fought for 26 years to abolish slavery in Great Britain, finally succeeding with the passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

Chuck Colson, who hosts the BreakPoint radio program, said Tada was selected for the award because she — like Wilberforce — has persevered and sacrificed to fight social injustice and to transform culture. “She is a defiant, inspirational, joy-filled rebuttal to those who would assault the sanctity of human life,” Colson said…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1561519182.html

ACCEPTABILITY VS. ACCOUNTABILITY
by Patrick Morley
Move from acceptability to accountability. Inject some consequences into the process. Here’s how it works:
1. Set concrete goals. Instead of saying, “Read my Bible more,” say, “Read the Bible five days each week by following the XYZ Bible Reading Plan.”
2. Set goals that are achievable. If you don’t exercise at all, don’t set a goal of going to the gym 5 days a week for 90 minutes each time.
3. A goal may also be something you want to stop doing. For instance, working too many hours or losing your temper with your kids. But it still needs to be concrete and measurable.
4. Put a definitive deadline on the goal — when must it be accomplished by?
5. What is the value of the goal? If your goal is to watch less TV, and you decide to cancel your cable, what is the value of that? And here’s the key to making it “real”…
6. Set a penalty for not achieving the goal. Make it painful and meaningful. It could be washing your accountability partner’s car or giving $100 to charity.
For accountability partners, it’s essential that you don’t let your brother off the hook if he does not achieve his goals. He’s a big boy. He made his own goals. He set the deadline and penalty. He can handle the consequences!…. Read this in full at
http://www.maninthemirror.org/blog-archives/blogger/listings/mim-web-team

HOW TO TALK TO NICODEMUS
by Casey Thompson
Jesus and Nicodemus might as well be speaking different languages. Jesus speaks of birth from above; Nicodemus is befuddled. Jesus speaks of the spirit as wind blowing where it will; Nicodemus wonders how this can be. They are like a creationist and a paleontologist comparing notes on fossils — they simply can’t fathom each other. Their organizing assumptions are too different.

Here’s when we sense that Nicodemus begins to understand what Jesus is saying: when Jesus reinterprets the story of Israel in the wilderness, drawing from the language that has oriented Nicodemus’s life and thought. It doesn’t seem likely, after all, that the series of puzzling metaphors Jesus begins with would push Nicodemus to understanding. But something clearly does: the next time we meet Nicodemus, he has taken a soft position of defense for Jesus against the larger Pharisee crowd. Eventually he is one of the people who comes into the light in order to prepare Jesus for burial…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2012-03/how-talk-nicodemus

DOMINO’S PIZZA FOUNDER: IF IT WEREN’T FOR MY FAITH, I’D BE HUGH HEFNER
If it weren’t for his faith, Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan said he’d be like Hugh Hefner right now, bathing in luxury after luxury. That’s what he told JSerra Catholic High School students in San Juan Capistrano March 8 during a private speaking engagement that was also open to the community.

His message was simple: God had grounded him and made him realize there were far more important things in life than million-dollar cars, yachts, and sports teams, all of which he once owned and took pride in.

“The most important thing I [can] do is help people get to heaven,” the pizza mogul said during the meeting, according to Patch.com.

His priorities were not always aligned, however, as they are now, especially when he began coming into large amounts of money with the success of his business — once a small, single pizza place in Ypsilanti, Mich., called DomiNick’s Pizza…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/dominos-pizza-founder-if-it-werent-for-my-faith-id-be-hugh-hefner-71159/

LIFE IS SO BRIEF, ETERNITY IS FOREVER
by Bill Ellis
The biggest surprise of my life is that all of it is so very brief. Billy Graham, speaking of his latest book, Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well, is quoted as saying, “All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die.”

We all have an appointment with death. There is an uncertainty about life, but none about death. I regularly read the obituary columns. Some obituaries speak of hope and eternal life. Others seem to offer no hope. Abner was King Saul’s cousin and a commander in his army. At the death of Abner, King David, sang a lament in which he asked, “Should Abner die as a fool dies? (2 Samuel 3:33).

Brief sadness comes when I read of all the things a person has done, but not one mention of that person’s relationship to God. Most discouraging are the words that come from a writer who has taken poetic license to an extreme and has a person walking heaven’s streets who left no testimony of ever having a desire to walk with God…. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12030070.htm

TIM TEBOW IS BY FAR THE BEST-KNOWN RELIGIOUS ATHLETE IN THE US
Sports media has been filled with story after story about Tim Tebow – particularly regarding his religious beliefs. But how well known is he for those beliefs among the American population in general?

Grey Matter Research (Phoenix, Arizona) surveyed a demographically representative sample of over one thousand American adults and asked them a very simple question: when they think about well-known athletes who are particularly religious or involved in their religious faith, which one athlete comes to mind first?

The results demonstrate just how pervasive is awareness of Tebow among Americans – but at the same time, that awareness of Tebow may not be as high as some might expect.

Exactly half of all American adults name Tim Tebow as the person they think of first when they think about well-known athletes who are particularly involved in their religious faith. Fourteen percent think about some other individual (with no consensus as to who that is), while 36% of Americans say nobody at all comes to mind…. Read this in full at
http://www.greymatterresearch.com/index_files/Athletes.htm

VERSE TO PONDER
“We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (CEB)

CONSIDER
“Live your human task in the liberating certainty that nothing in the world can separate you from God’s love for you.”
Brakkenstein Community of Blessed Sacrament Fathers

6 CHARACTERTISTICS OF SPIRITUAL LEADERS
by Bob Hamp
Distinguishing spiritual leadership from other forms of leadership can free people from unrealistic expectations of some leaders. Here are 6 characteristics that identify most spiritual leaders:
1. They lead others into their own encounters with God.
2. They lead others to discover their own purpose and identity.
3. They lead others into transformation — not just production.
4. They impact their atmosphere.
5. They help people see old things in new ways.
6. They gain a following because of who they are — not because of a position they hold…. Read this in full at
http://michaelhyatt.com/charactertistics-of-spiritual-leaders.html

60-SECONDS WITH CHUCK SWINDOLL
Want to know how to walk in triumph in a world that’s lost its way? In this Video Insight, Chuck Swindoll gives three essentials to help you “walk well.”
http://www.insight.org/video/insights/walk-well-2012.html

CHRISTIAN RADIO STATIONS NOT DECLARING THE GOSPEL?
songwriter and worship leader Kristen Gilles isn’t so sure Christian radio stations are actually what they claim to be.

“After critically listening to [one of our local Contemporary Christian Music] radio station during my commutes to and from work for the past several weeks, I’ve found myself asking these questions: Is it really positive? Is it telling the truth? The WHOLE truth?” she questioned on her blog.

Unable to hear foundational gospel truths proclaimed during the programs and songs – such as total depravity, redemption, repentance, and forgiveness – the Sojourn Community Church praise leader felt that Christian radio stations and CCM were preaching a false gospel.

“If Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) is not telling…gospel truths, if instead it’s telling listeners that they’re ‘special’ and everything’s going to be okay, but without saying anything about the incredibly high price God has paid to make them His own special possession, or what he’s done to conquer the power of sin and death, and what he will do in returning to free us from the very presence of sin and evil, then it’s not wholesome, positive, safe for the whole family, or helpful,” she wrote…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/family-friendly-radio-stations-not-so-positive-wholesome-after-all-71463/

CASUAL CHURCHES: THE RISE OF INFORMAL WORSHIP PLACES
Comfortable is becoming common as churches take advantage of new, nontraditional spaces in movie theaters, skating rinks, strip malls and old warehouses, among others.

Aaron Coe, vice president for mobilization for the Southern Baptist Convention’s North America Mission Board, cited several factors for the shift, including a move away from traditionalism and the economic advantages of leasing space instead of building a church.

“We’ve seen everything from art galleries to schools,” he said. “Schools and movie theaters are probably the most common. There is definitely a trend, and I think it’s one that’s here to stay.”

They may not have steeples or stained glass, but the nontraditional churches say they are finding success tapping into a segment of society that may otherwise have been lost. At these churches, attendees often are greeted with coffee and doughnuts. Rather than organs, church music is more likely to be the tune of guitars…. Read this in full at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/casual-churches-informal-worship-places_n_1274567.html

BOWLING ALLEYS IN CHURCHES ARE DISAPPEARING FAST
Church bowling alleys are disappearing fast. There are probably fewer than 200 left , says Neil Stremmel, of the US Bowling Congress.

Doug Schmidt, author of the 2007 book They Came to Bowl: How Milwaukee Became America’s Tenpin Capital, says that city once had at least 13 church bowling alleys. “They came with German immigrants in the 1860s,” Schmidt says. “Most closed in the 1980s or ’90s.”

Milwaukee’s St. Martini Lutheran Church built its eight-lane alley in 1954, says church secretary Trudi Groth. In 2004, four lanes were dismantled to make space for a lunch room. Two years ago the final four lanes were replaced by classrooms…. Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-10/church-bowling-alley/53424238/1

7 REASONS WHY YOUNG ADULTS QUIT CHURCH
by Christian Piatt
From time to time I revisit the question: why are young adults walking away from religion? Although the answer(s) vary from person to person, there are some general trends that I think apply in most cases.

In the list below, when I refer to “we,” “I” or “me,” I’m referring to younger adults in general, and not necessarily myself.

We’ve Been Hurt: I can actually include myself in this one personally. Sometimes the hurtful act is specific, like when my youth leader threw a Bible at me for asking the wrong questions. Sometimes it’s rhetorical, either from the pulpit, in a small group study or over a meal. Sometimes it’s physical, taking the form of sexual abuse or the like. But millions claim a wound they can trace back to church that has never healed. Why? In part, because the church rarely seeks forgiveness…. Read this in full at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christian-piatt/seven-reasons-why-young-a_b_1338159.html?ref=religion

PROSPERITY THEOLOGY
by David Jeremiah
Christians who have a strong belief in a divine Jesus may feel reasonably safe from the distortions, caricatures, and demeaning of him that we see among entertainers and postmodern scholars. But there are more subtle traps within the Church itself that snare many because they are set by preachers and teachers whom many trust.

You do not have to go far on television or the Internet — or perhaps in your own community — to find a Christian preacher who will tell you that Jesus wants you well and wealthy. This unorthodox version of Jesus’ gospel is referred to as “prosperity theology” or the “health and wealth” gospel. There is nothing inherently wrong with being well and wealthy. But as a basis for theology, it is far from the good news of the gospel that Jesus preached…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/articles/theology/prosperitytheology.html

ANCIENT SHEKEL COIN SOLD FOR $1.1 MILLION
An ancient Judean shekel coin was sold at auction for $1.1 million.

The coin, the first silver shekel struck in Jerusalem by Jewish forces rebelling against the Romans in the first century, was purchased by an unidentified private collector on March 8 at Heritage Auctions in New York City. Its pre-auction estimated value was $950,000; the auction house told the Associated Press that it is the highest price ever paid at auction for a Judean coin…. Read this in full at
http://forward.com/articles/152843/ancient-shekel-coin-sold-for-11-million/

QUIZ [answers below]
1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall and he wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

5. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

7. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

8. What was the President’s name in 1975?

9. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

10. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?

ANSWERS:

1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

Answer: Johnny of course

2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall, and he wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

Answer: Meat.

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

Answer: Mt. Everest ; it just wasn’t discovered yet. [You’re not very good
at this are you?]

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

Answer: There is no dirt in a hole.

5. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

Answer: Incorrectly

6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet her birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

Answer: Billy lives in the Southern Hemisphere

7. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

Answer: You can’t take pictures with a wooden leg. You need a camera to take pictures.

8. What was the President’s name in 1975?

Answer: Same as is it now – Barack Obama [Oh, come on …]

9. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

Answer: You would be in 2nd. Well, you passed the person in second place, not first.

10. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?

Answer: Neither, the yolk of the egg is yellow. [Duh]

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?

Answer: One. If he combines all of his haystacks, they all become one big stack.
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com

A CARD-COUNTING MIX OF BIBLES, BLACKJACK, AND CASH
Colin Jones has toiled in the cacophonous, windowless, artificially lighted corridors of casinos across the country in an effort to beat the house with math. He has worked to master the art of card counting, long scorned by casino operators, in which players try to gain an advantage over a blackjack dealer by keeping track of all the cards seen, and then adjusting their bets.

Now he is selling his tactics to others. On March 24, 10 people from across the country will arrive in Las Vegas and pay $1,500 each for Jones to teach them how to count cards.

What those students may not realize is that their teacher belongs to an unlikely subset of blackjack players. Jones is a Christian card counter.

Until last year, he and his high school friend from Bible camp, Ben Crawford, ran a group of more than 30 religious card counters. Based in Seattle, the rotating cast of players says it won $3.2 million over five years — all while regularly attending church, leading youth groups and studying theology.

But first Jones and his group had to wrestle with the apparent moral paradox: Should Christians be counting cards? …. Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/sports/a-card-counting-mix-of-bibles-blackjack-and-cash.html?_r=1

ATHEIST PROFESSOR’S NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE IN HELL LEFT HIM CHANGED
by Mark Ellis
In some near-death experiences, people report they were drawn toward “the light.” But in this horrifying near-death experience for an atheist art professor, he was drawn into the darkness of hell, which dramatically altered the course of his life.

“I was a double atheist,” says Howard Storm, who became a tenured art professor at Northern Kentucky University by age 27. “I was a know-it-all college professor, and universities are some of the most closed-minded places there are,” he notes.

On the last day of a three-week European art tour he led, his group had returned to their hotel in Paris after a visit to the artist Delacroix’s home and studio. As Howard stood in his room with his wife and another student, suddenly he screamed and dropped to the floor in agony…. Read this in full at
http://blog.godreports.com/2012/03/atheist-professors-near-death-experience-in-hell-left-him-changed/

CHRISTIAN SMITH ON THE NIHILISTIC LIVES OF COLLEGE-AGE AMERICANS
Throughout American history, people have constantly worried about the moral fiber of young people, the next generation. The Puritans turned this worry into a whole new sermon genre, the “jeremiad.” Just like the prophets of old, they thundered that the rising generation had turned away from God, become distracted by the things of this world, and gotten mired in sin. If people did not turn back to God, the Jeremiahs warned, judgment was coming.

Christian Smith’s recent Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood, a study of American “emerging adults” (18- to 23-year-olds) is like a jeremiad with statistics. Smith, a phenomenally prolific sociologist at the University of Notre Dame, began his pathbreaking work on American teenagers with the highly influential Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (2005). That book coined the term “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism” (MTD) to describe the theologically flabby religious beliefs of American teens. This is a term that one now commonly hears from American pulpits…. Read this in full at
http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Jeremiad-with-Statistics-Thomas-Kidd-03-07-2012.html

CHURCH PUBLISHING TO OFFER EHYMNALS IN TABLET EDITIONS VIA APPLE IBOOKSTORE
Among the first denominational publishers to offer authorized eHymnals, Church Publishing, Inc. (CPI), is launching Episcopal Church hymnals and songbooks as digital editions for iPad tablet readers.

The first of these new products are intended to work with any digital reader that supports the ePub standard. Five of the new Church Publishing products were successfully uploaded to the Apple iBookstore in mid-February and are now available for iPads and other digital iBooks readers. Additional volumes plus Google eBook versions are expected to follow shortly…. Read this in full at
http://religionnews2.ehclients.com/press-releases/church-publishing-to-offer-ehymnals-in-tablet-editions-via-apple-ibookstore

FLORIDA CHURCH TO BUILD 100,000-SQUARE-FOOT PARK FOR ITS CITY
Cape Coral’s ranking as one of the top cities in the nation for foreclosure and unemployment rates has prompted a Florida church to shift its focus — from building a $15 million-dollar worship auditorium to building a 100,000-square-foot park for its city.

After assessing how loss of jobs and homes was impacting families, Cape Christian Fellowship is launching a non-traditional church campaign to build Fellowship Park. Open to the public, Fellowship Park will include the city’s first amphitheater, a splash pad, four children’s playgrounds, sports and multi-purpose fields, common areas, a zip line, a jogging trail, a pavilion and a café. It will be funded, built and maintained by the church. In addition, Cape Christian Fellowship is launching a community-wide campaign, “Not in My City,” providing comprehensive resources to families facing hunger, homelessness, and poverty…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/3807119178.html

HUNDREDS OF CHURCHES USING ‘NEW’ TEN COMMANDMENTS REWRITTEN BY POPULAR PASTOR
A popular British preacher and evangelist has introduced a DVD teaching series for Christians seeking a better understanding of the Ten Commandments. The series is reportedly being used by 600 churches who find the modernized take on God’s laws refreshing. However, some have expressed concern that “tampering” with Scripture may be taking away from God’s Word.

The “Just10 for Churches” series features a revamped and modern re-wording of the Ten Commandments the Bible says were given to Moses by God. The moral codes, including a list of “thou shall nots,” have been given a modern twist by Canon J.John (http://www.philotrust.com/jjohn), a Christian speaker who has authored dozens of books, some on making God’s “top ten” found in Exodus 20 more personable to believers.

The Decalogue’s “You shall not steal” is now “prosper with a clear conscience,” while “You shall not commit adultery” has been changed to “affair-proof your relationships.” As for “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God,” J.John has interpreted that to mean “take God seriously.” Where God instructs in the Commandments to “Honor your father and your mother,” the “Just10” series presents it as “keep the peace with your parents.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/hundreds-of-churches-using-new-ten-commandments-rewritten-by-popular-pastor-71156/

THE RISE OF EVANGELICALISM IS SHAKING UP THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Ever since the 18th century, England’s established church has harbored a suspicion of religious enthusiasm. Anglicanism’s cozy ubiquity as a reassuring, if vestigial, presence in every English suburb and village is regarded as a defense against the sort of fanaticism that leads to social or ethnic conflict. But every so often in English church history, compromise and emollience have triggered a countervailing reaction: an upsurge in faith of a more passionate kind. Such a change may be under way now.

As the number of people who are actively committed to the Church of England falls, the proportion of churchgoers who are serious about their faith — and its implications for private and public life — is growing. Peter Brierley, a collector of statistics on faith in Britain, reckons that 40% of Anglicans attend evangelical parishes these days, up from 26% in 1989. That is against a background of overall decline; he thinks the number of regular worshippers in the Church of England will have fallen to 680,000 by 2020, down from about 800,000 now and just under one million a decade ago. The lukewarm are falling away, leaving the pews to the more fervent…. Read this in full at
http://www.economist.com/node/21549943

UNCONVENTIONAL PROJECT COMBINES CHURCH, APARTMENTS
After two years of wandering during construction, a Washington, DC,-area Baptist congregation returned March 4 to the site where it was organized more than a century ago in a new facility designed both for outreach to a busy urban community and to reinvigorate a congregation formerly in decline.

Rising above the original First Baptist Church of Clarendon building in Arlington, Va., is a 10-story structure topped by condominiums, most of them designated as affordable housing.

“We’ve been homeless for two years and now we once again have a stable place of ministry,” said David Perdue, interim senior pastor of the renamed Church at Clarendon. “There’s a sense that now we’ve returned home, we can move forward.”

The church is in the first two stories of the complex, which retains the original building’s steeple and pillared façade. The eight floors above it contain 116 upscale apartment units, about 60% of which meet Arlington County’s affordable housing designation for low and moderate income households…. Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/7213/53/

CONSIDER
“God speaks more frequently in persistent whispers than in shouts.”
Life Application Study Bible

VERSE TO PONDER
“Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.”
2 Peter 1:4 (CEB)

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: I NEED THEE, PRECIOUS JESUS
Words: Frederick Whitfield, 1855
Music: John B. Calkin, 1870

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
For I am full of sin;
My soul is dark and guilty,
My heart is dead within.
I need the cleansing fountain
Where I can always flee,
The blood of Christ most precious,
The sinner’s perfect plea.

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
For I am very poor;
A stranger and a pilgrim,
I have no earthly store.
I need the love of Jesus
To cheer me on my way,
To guide my doubting footsteps,
To be my strength and stay.

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
I need a friend like Thee,
A friend to soothe and pity,
A friend to care for me.
I need the heart of Jesus
To feel each anxious care,
To tell my every trouble,
And all my sorrows share.

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
I need Thee, day by day,
To fill me with Thy fullness,
To lead me on my way;
I need Thy Holy Spirit,
To teach me what I am,
To show me more of Jesus,
To point me to the Lamb.

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
And hope to see Thee soon,
Encircled with the rainbow
And seated on Thy throne.
There, with Thy blood bought children,
My joy shall ever be,
To sing Thy praises, Jesu,
To gaze, O Lord, on Thee.

>from CyberHymnal at
http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/n/ineedtpj.htm

ON PRAYER
“Prayer does not mean simply to pour out one’s heart. It means rather to find the way to God and to speak with him, whether the heart is full or empty.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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

Up to 50 Free Penny Auction Bids
I’m giving away up to 50 free bids to use in my penny auction site. I will be giving away TONS of free bids for you to start bidding in
our exciting Penny Auctions. Register a Free account today to lock in your spot.
http://www.fdcoleman.zeekler.com/splash/

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

Accurate time and more
http://time.is/

100 Years of Oreos: 9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Iconic Cookie
http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/03/06/100-years-of-oreos-9-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-iconic-cookie/

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.)

Fences and arguments always have two sides.
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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