CONNECTIONS News – 03/24/2013

Connecting man to man to God
For week of March 24, 2013
Issue 452

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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IN THIS ISSUE:

  • HOLY WEEK
  • WHAT’S YOUR SUBTITLE?
  • JESUS GIVES US AN IDENTITY, NOT JUST A TASK
  • THE HOPE OF HEAVEN
  • BILLY GRAHAM CENTER TO DISPLAY JESUS SCULPTURE COVERED IN DIRT
  • TIM KELLER ON HOW TO TREAT HOMOSEXUALS
  • EVERYTHING CHANGES EXCEPT GOD
  • BEN CARSON, ERIC METAXAS WARN OF LOSS OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AT CPAC
  • FRIDAY NIGHT ARCHIVE REPLAY
  • MUCH MORE . . .

Happy are those who trust in the LORD, who rely on the LORD. They will be like trees planted by the streams, whose roots reach down to the water. They won’t fear drought when it comes; their leaves will remain green. They won’t be stressed in the time of drought or fail to bear fruit.
– Jeremiah 17:7-8 (CEB)

     CONSIDER
What we see as we go through life always depends upon where we stand to look.”
– Billy Sunday

     HOLY WEEK
March 24: Palm Sunday
March 27: Spy Wednesday
March 28: Maundy Thursday
March 29: Good Friday
March 30: Holy Saturday
March 31: Easter Sunday
http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/lections.php?year=C&season=Holy Week

     GOD OF THE JOBLESS
by Susan Wunderink
In the past, Sabbaths have been viewed as either onerous or something Christians don’t need. But the Sabbath isn’t an unnecessary burden any more than swim lessons are a waste of time for future swimmers.

After all, a Sabbath is an act of both worship and preparation. Preparation for what? For living in faith when the bottom drops out. Observing voluntary days of rest can lay the mental and emotional foundations for enduring involuntary seasons of joblessness. Those of us who have lost jobs during the economic downturn have observed those Sabbaths of unemployment.

You might expect joblessness to always be discouraging. But I’ve seen Christian friends who were strangely at peace while unemployed. They became wiser, humbler, and more prone to talk about God. I think I’ve become more grateful. God’s hands are always supporting us, my friends and I have told each other. It hurts now, but all our anxiety will seem silly in a little while, we’ve told each other. Isn’t this what a real Sabbath does to God’s people? …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/march/sabbath-swimming-lesson.html?paging=off

     WHAT’S YOUR SUBTITLE?
by Clare De Graaf
Contrary to your mother’s assurances, the general public does in fact judge books by their covers.

When you enter a bookstore, what exactly are we looking for? What catches your eye? All those beautiful paperback or hardcover editions are wrapped in a cover with an eye-catching design, the author’s name, and the title. The cover design is up to the graphics team, so an acquisitions editor is looking for two other important elements: a popular name and an intriguing title. Either will do nicely to secure a second look from Joe or Jane shopper.

In the big bookstore of life, you and I don’t operate much differently. We know that others are judging us by our “cover,” and we really, really want them to like what they see. We want them to take a second look. Why? Maybe we’re after their respect or admiration or perhaps we have an unhealthy “fear of man” (Prov. 29:25).

Maybe, if we’re honest, we wouldn’t mind if the person on the other end was just a tad bit jealous of us. Whatever our reasoning, if we don’t have as much control over the “cover art” (our outward appearance) as we’d like, we have to make sure we seal the deal with either an impressive name or a flashy subtitle.

Few of us have names people immediately recognize. So, in an attempt to be a somebody, most of us have adopted “subtitles” to impress people to “buy” us…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2013/03/18/whats-your-subtitle/

     HERE COME THE RADICALS!
by Matthew Lee Anderson
David Platt, Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne, and now Kyle Idleman are dominating the Christian best-seller lists by attacking our comfortable Christianity. But is ‘radical faith’ enough?

Discovering a radical faith may mean revisiting the ways in which faith can take shape in the mundane, sans intensifiers. It almost certainly means embracing the providence of God in our witness to the world. The Good Samaritan wasn’t a good neighbor because he moved to a poor part of town or put a pile of trash in his living room. He came across the helpless victim “as he traveled.” We begin to fulfill the command not when we do something radical, extreme, over the top, not when we’re really spiritual or really committed or really faithful, but when in the daily ebb and flow of life, in our corporate jobs, in our middle-class neighborhoods, on our trips to Yellowstone and Disney World — and yes, even short-term mission trips — we stop to help those whom we meet in everyday life, reaching out in quiet, practical, and loving ways…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/march/here-come-radicals.html?paging=off

Related to the above article: read THE 10-SECOND RULE
by Clare De Graaf
Most of us would like to think of ourselves as followers of Jesus, but what does that really mean, practically?

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23. Simply put, it’s trusting Jesus enough to say “no” to what we want, and “yes” to what he wants. So, then why is it we don’t obey him more often than we do?

Years ago I noticed that during the course of my day I’d have these impressions to do something I was reasonably certain Jesus wanted me to do. It could be an impression to either do something good for someone or a warning about a sin I was about to commit. It might be to stop for a car broken down on the highway, speak to a co-worker about Jesus, or simply turn off my computer before I ended up at a site where no Christian should go.

Almost simultaneously I would sense another voice whispering to me. “You don’t have time to do that – helping that person could get messy – you can’t afford to help them right now – it’s okay, one more time won’t kill you – send it, you’ve been wronged!”

If I listened to this other voice and thought about it long enough, the moment for obedience would pass, often to my relief. It finally dawned on me that by procrastinating, I was unintentionally teaching myself the habit of disobedience. Why is that?

Because I knew that almost every decision to obey would cost me something – time, money, embarrassment, inconvenience, or a momentary pleasure denied – something! By choosing not to obey Jesus, I could avoid all of that! As a result, I found myself settling for good enough almost daily – which is kryptonite for any would-be followers of Jesus!

Then a decade ago a lay pastor from China taught me a simple rule that helped me break that cycle:

The 10 Second Rule:
Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do.” (and do it immediately before you change your mind!)

If you love me, you will obey what I command.” -John 14:15

But, how do we know what Jesus wants us to do, exactly? God hasn’t ever spoken to me audibly, so I’m not talking of actually hearing voices. However, I’ve found that the more I study the teachings and character of Jesus, the more confident I’ve become moving in spontaneous, simple obedience to the opportunities he sends my way. It’s his life, and the Holy Spirit reminding me of everything he did and taught that gives him this voice.

Can we always be sure? No. The Rule doesn’t require you to be absolutely certain an impression is from God before you obey. In fact, I’ve found that the need for certainty is often the enemy of obedience! But, let’s just say this impression wasn’t from God. So what? You’ve still done something good for another human or kept yourself from sinning. How can that not be the will of God?

But, here’s what discourages many of us. We know that there is absolutely no way we can ever hope to surrender to the will of God perfectly, every day, for the rest of our life. And, none of us want to chase an impossible dream. But here’s the power behind The Rule; even though absolute surrender is impossible, doing the next thing I’m reasonably certain Jesus wants me to do, isn’t! I can do that! And, so can you.

So, The Rule gives you a place to begin again following Jesus, right now – today, if you’ve drifted spiritually. It’s following Jesus made simple and being led by Jesus, moment by moment, day by day (or even in the next 10 seconds!).

And, it’s been the experience of Christians since the time of Jesus that true godly character is forged less by a few, big dramatic decisions than the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of simple obedience…. Read this in full & watch the book trailer at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/10-second-rule/

     JESUS GIVES US AN IDENTITY, NOT JUST A TASK
by Trevin Wax
We often think of “witness” as something we do (such as evangelism), rather than something we are. But in the commissioning scenes in Luke (24:44-48) and Acts (1:4-8), Jesus speaks of the disciples in terms of present reality (“you are My witnesses”) and future identity (“you will be My witnesses”).

What’s the significance of being Christ’s witnesses? First, note the emphasis in both accounts on Jesus claiming authority over the disciples’ identities and activities: My witnesses.

This could refer to the fact that the witnesses belong to the Lord — ”you are the witnesses who belong to Me.” Or it could mean that the witnesses speak of the Lord in line with their identity — ”you are the witnesses that speak of me.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/blogs/trevin-wax/jesus-gives-us-an-identity-not-just-a-task.html

     IT’S A CHOICE
by Tommy Newberry
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

At any given moment we can consciously choose to:
* think excellent thoughts, not mediocre thoughts;
* think fresh, exciting thoughts, not stale, boring thoughts;
* think compassionate thoughts, not harsh thoughts;
* think loving thoughts, not indifferent thoughts;
* think helpful thoughts, not hurtful thoughts;
* think faith thoughts, not fear thoughts;
* think bold thoughts, not comfort thoughts;
* think opportunity thoughts, not security thoughts;
* think giving thoughts, not getting thoughts;
* think grateful thoughts, not entitled thoughts;
* think responsible thoughts, not irresponsible thoughts;
* think reconciliation thoughts, not retaliation thoughts;
* think positive thoughts, not negative thoughts;
* think thoughts of victory, not thoughts of defeat;
* think about the promises of God, not the problems of this world.
Excerpted from 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life by Tommy Newberry
http://www.christianitytoday.com/moi/2013/002/march/its-choice.html

     THE JESUS WAY
by Eugene Peterson
I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) The Jesus way wedded to the Jesus truth brings about the Jesus life. We can’t proclaim the Jesus truth but then do it any old way we like. Nor can we follow the Jesus way without speaking the Jesus truth.

But Jesus as the truth gets far more attention than Jesus as the way. Jesus as the way is the most frequently evaded metaphor among the Christians with whom I have worked for 50 years as a North American pastor. In the text that Jesus sets before us so clearly and definitively, way comes first. We cannot skip the way of Jesus in our hurry to get to the truth of Jesus as he is worshiped and proclaimed. The way of Jesus is the way that we practice and come to understand the truth of Jesus, living Jesus in our homes and workplaces, with our friends and family.

A Christian congregation, the church in your neighborhood, has always been the primary location for getting this *way* and *truth* and *life* of Jesus believed and embodied in the places, and among the people, with whom we most have to do day in and day out. There is more to the church than this local congregation. There is the church continuous through the centuries, our fathers and mothers who continue to influence and teach us. There is the church spread throughout the world, communities that we are in touch with through prayer and suffering and mission. There is the church invisible, dimensions and instances of the Spirit’s work that we know nothing about. There is the church triumphant, that “great cloud of witnesses” who continue to surround us (Heb. 12:1). But the local congregation is the place where we get all of this integrated and practiced in the immediate circumstances and among the men, women and children we live with. This is where it becomes local and personal…. Read this in full at
http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-how-to/153576-eugene-peterson-the-jesus-way-vs-the-american-way.html

     THE HOPE OF HEAVEN
by Gary S. Smith
In response to recently being diagnosed with a rare and terminal type of brain cancer, sitcom star Valerie Harper declared, “we are all terminal.” In a cover story for “People” magazine and an interview on CNN, Harper, age 73, stressed that she is determined to live the limited time she has on earth to the utmost. Best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and its spinoff, “Rhoda,” she insisted that she is trying to focus on the moment. In addition, she expressed gratitude for her wonderful marriage and enjoyable television career. “I really look at my life as blessed,” Harper stated….

As Christians around the world celebrate Easter this year, we are reminded of one way to deal with our impending death: we can rejoice in the biblical promise of unending future life in heaven. Heaven’s wonders are regularly described as luscious, stunning, spellbinding, exhilarating, and captivating. We routinely use the adjective “heavenly” in literature and conversation to describe life’s most joyful experiences. To the faithful, majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls, breath-taking canyons, magnificent cathedrals, pealing organs, angelic choirs, and sensational symphonies all pale compared with the dazzling beauty and splendor that awaits them in heaven. If God could create such a spectacular earth and endow human beings with such marvelous gifts of creativity in the arts, sciences, and industry, many people reason, the heavenly home, which He has prepared for them to live in forever, must be even more fantastic…. Read this in full at
http://www.visionandvalues.org/2013/03/the-hope-of-heaven/

     CATCH OF THE DAY: WISDOM
“‘Are there those among you who are truly wise and understanding? Then they should show it by living right and doing good things with a gentleness that comes from wisdom.’ — James 3:13 (NCV)

As bass get bigger and older, they do indeed get wiser and more difficult to catch. One of their tricks is to feed mainly at night. Another is to spend most of their time about 10 feet deep, a depth that a lot of fishermen don’t fish.

In life, we are supposed to get more wisdom and understanding. What we do with these gifts is up to us. God says we show these gifts by the way we live. We do good for those around us, and we must indeed mellow with age. I am a hard-charging guy, but I do want wisdom. I do want understanding. If God grants these requests, I must realize that along with wisdom and understanding come some pretty big responsibilities, especially in living right.”
– Jimmy Houston in Catch of the Day.

     BILLY GRAHAM CENTER TO DISPLAY JESUS SCULPTURE COVERED IN DIRT
A 5-foot-tall ceramic sculpture of the crucified Jesus Christ covered in vacuum dust collected by the custodial staff at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., will debut April 22 in the Biblical and Theological Studies department at the Billy Graham Center.

The display will be part of a 27-piece collection of Christian art created by Wheaton College staff, but none will be as controversial as the piece created by associate professor of art, David J.P. Hooker.

At first glance, seeing Jesus covered in a mass of dirt, skin cells, human hair and carpet fibers is alarming, but Hooker explains the art is not intended to be sacrilegious, but a representation of Jesus sacrificing himself to atone for the sins of humanity.

Hooker, who has named his sculpture “Corpus,” told The Christian Post he was terrified and resistant to the idea of creating a piece that dealt with the death and resurrection of Jesus.

“Jeffrey Greenman, [associate dean of Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College], asked me if I would consider making a work for the department’s new space,” Hooker said. “So I started a process in which I was thinking with Jeffrey about a biblically-themed work that would fit the department.”

“This is a subject I have never wanted to deal with,” Hooker explained. “It’s just too big for me. I mean, it is the epicenter of everything I believe in. How can you make a work of art about that?” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/jesus-sculpture-covered-in-dirt-to-display-in-billy-graham-center-at-wheaton-college-91923/

     VERSE TO PONDER
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.
– Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB)

     CONSIDER
To fear and not be afraid- that is the paradox of faith.”
– A. W. Tozer

     TIM KELLER ON HOW TO TREAT HOMOSEXUALS
The Bible says homosexuality is not God’s original design for sexuality. The Bible also says “love your neighbor.” Watch this video of Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, explaining this distinction at the Veritas Forum at Columbia University….
http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/videos-for-pastors/166280-tim-keller-treat-homosexuals.html

     LUIS PALAU: WHY IT MATTERS THAT POPE FRANCIS DRINKS MATÉ WITH EVANGELICALS
Argentine native and international evangelist Luis Palau considers Jorge Bergoglio, the newly elected Pope Francis, a personal friend. So, Palau says, he was especially excited to hear that Catholic cardinals had selected Bergoglio, the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, to replace Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI after his resignation.

Christianity Today spoke with Palau, who offered his perspective on Pope Francis both as an evangelist and as Bergoglio’s personal friend.

Q: What was your reaction when you heard that Bergoglio had been selected as pope?

A: It was exciting because of Argentina, because of his personality, and because of his openness toward evangelical Christians. I got kind of emotional, simply having known him.

He came in second to Pope Benedict XVI in the last election and pulled out of the vote voluntarily, because he thought, ‘We shouldn’t be doing this, vote after vote.’ I said to him when I saw him afterward, ‘What a pity! I thought I would be able to say I know the pope as my friend.’ I said he’d probably get elected the next time, but he said, ‘No, I’m too old.’

It was a total surprise [yesterday], because I also thought he was past the age. Since last time he didn’t win, I figured he wouldn’t win this time. But here we go: He got elected. He’s not too old…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/march-web-only/luis-palau-pope-francis-drinks-mate-evangelicals-bergoglio.html

     PRACTICAL LOVE
Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”
– Emily Post

     5 THINGS EVANGELICALS CAN LEARN FROM JESUITS
by Chris Nye
I was in the fourth grade when I put on my first Catholic school uniform. I was able to ditch the polo and navy slacks in high school, yet I still went to a Catholic institution and was there introduced to the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits. And at the same time, I was introduced to many remarkable people who lived with a rich faith in God and deep love for people.

It showed me a different way of faith than my evangelical church and youth group, and I benefited from both. While I ended up fully committing to an evangelical church as a pastor, I still carry rich lessons that the Jesuits challenged me with during those formative years.

And now with the election of Pope Francis, the first Jesuit to be ordained to the Catholic Church’s highest office, I’ve been reflecting on some of those lessons again. Here are some of the most important things the Jesuits taught me:…. Read this in full at
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/5-things-evangelicals-can-learn-jesuits

     EVERYTHING CHANGES EXCEPT GOD
Just as God does in nature, He also changes the seasons of our lives. In Ecclesiastes 3, King Solomon wrote: ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; . . . a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; . . . a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.’ Ecclesiastes 3:1-5

Everything must change. Nothing stays the same. Some changes — like the seasonal changes described in Charles Dickens’ works — are expected, beautiful, and welcome. Other changes come unexpectedly, unwanted, and leave us wondering what to do.

The answer for changing times is to put your faith in God, who does not change (Malachi 3:6). Solomon said that God makes ‘everything beautiful in its time’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). He transforms the winters of our lives into spring. When we accept the changes and ask God to make them beautiful, our faith grows and blooms like His landscapes in springtime.”
– Excerpted from A Charles Dickens Devotional,

     GOD IS ETHICAL
by Roger Olson
Frequently I hear Christians claim that “Whatever God does is good just because he does it.” That is, in effect, to deny that God is ethical. What they mean, I take it, is that God is above ethics, that there is no ethical standard, norm, by which God thinks, speaks or acts.

The only ethic we can derive from that is “divine command ethics.” But the question naturally arises “Why does God command things?” From this perspective (viz., that God is above ethics), the only answer can be that he does because he chooses to. But, ultimately, then, divine commands are arbitrary. God is arbitrary.

I believe every divine command reflects God’s character, ultimately his love, which is the summum bonum rooted in God’s own being. God does not command arbitrarily; God is ethical. God is love (benevolence toward being)…. Read this in full at
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2013/03/our-god-is-an-ethical-god/

     AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE AWARDED THE EPIPHANY PRIZE AT THE 21ST ANNUAL MOVIEGUIDE® AWARDS
Game Show Networks’ highest rated original series, THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE, has been awarded the prestigious Epiphany Prize for Most Inspiring TV Program of 2012 at the 21st Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values Awards recently held at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, CA. Season 2 of THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE hosted by Jeff Foxworthy premiered March 21, 2013 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on GSN.

Since 1996, the $100,000 Epiphany Prizes, supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, have been annually awarded to the top movies and TV programs which are wholesome, uplifting and help ”increase man’s understanding and love of God.” …. Read this in full at
http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/03/18/1774/

     LOUIS ZAMPERINI AT 96, IS STILL ‘UNBROKEN’ AFTER ALL THESE YEARS
by Dan Wooding
I have interviewed some extraordinary people in my more than 44 years as a journalist, but some time back I was able to meet with one of the most inspiring men I have ever met. His name is Louis Zamperini, a true living legend who, at the age of 96, is still serving the Lord.

Zamperini, who despite his advanced age, remains active and full of life, lecturing to audiences around the world about how to deal with stress, the meaning of the Olympic movement, and the freedom he has found through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

He was born in Olean, New York to Anthony and Louise Zamperini. The Zamperini family moved to Torrance, California in the 1920s, where Louis attended Torrance High School…. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2013/s13030082.htm

     BEING A JOSEPH
by Carly Decker
In early 2012, my healthy 26-year-old husband was suddenly diagnosed with an unusually severe case of Crohn’s Disease. Collectively we’ve logged a solid month of hospital stays, 7 surgeries, hundreds of doctor’s visits, and lived months of the unknown.

The question that continues to tug at my heart, “Lord how do we glorify you in this? In the pain and broken; in a season of fear and unknown?”

God gently brought Joseph to mind. He was one legit man found in Genesis 37-50. No doubt he was persevering, a disciple of God, and so desperately faithful. This dude was the epitome of being kicked when he was down. Loathed by family members, sold into slavery by brothers, accused of rape, unfairly placed behind bars, and forgotten in a pit for years — he knew suffering, he lived suffering.

That question echoes: “Lord how do we glorify you in this?”

A wildly gracious nudge points me back to Scripture and God whispers, “Release” …. Read this in full at
http://www.faithvillage.com/article/61d2502985eb47998674e02738caef05/being_a_joseph

     THE TWO KINDS OF “CONSERVATIVE” CHRISTIANS
by Thomas Holgrave
Young Christians today are in the middle of a sea change of opinion and practice in the church. The rhetorical tropes and divisions of a previous generation (Spiritual vs. religious? Reformed vs. fundamentalist? Liberal vs. conservative?) are beginning to fade in people’s perceptions, and new categories are taking their place.

With 20th-century theological liberalism faltering, along with the cultural “Christian” consensus, abandoning the faith of your parents no longer means social marginalization. Consequently, those who remain in church are more likely to be those who actually maintain a sincere and heart-felt belief in a real experience of God. This does not mean that all will think alike. We can feel new generations of young adult Christians dividing along new lines…. Read this in full at
http://juicyecumenism.com/2013/03/18/two-kinds-of-conservative-christians/

     WESLEYAN WISDOM: TRACING JOHN WESLEY’S JOURNEY: HIS FINAL YEARS
by Donald W. Haynes
John Wesley’s itinerant ministry covered a geographic triangle: from London west to Bristol on the Wales border, then northeast to Newcastle upon Tyne, and south back to London. He also went southwest into Cornwall, over into Wales and 60 times across the Irish Sea to Dublin and its environs, leaving a substantial following. Many of the Irish and Welsh later migrated to America, and along with the Palatinates from Germany made up a large percentage of the earliest Methodists in the US.

If you visit Bristol, be sure not to leave without seeing Charles Wesley’s home. Charles was never in the itinerant ministry—he lived in Bristol and near Marylebone in London. His Bristol house was only recently purchased by the Methodists and contains period furniture. The tour guide provides a wealth of information, including the fact that Charles did not compose music; he wrote hymn texts to be sung to existing tunes…. Read this in full at
http://www.unitedmethodistreporter.com/2013/03/wesleyan-wisdom-tracing-john-wesleys-journey-his-final-years/

     BEN CARSON, ERIC METAXAS WARN OF LOSS OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AT CPAC
Ben Carson and Eric Metaxas, who both gained fame for their speeches at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, appeared together at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., March 16 and warned about a loss of religious freedom.

The controversy over the Obama administration’s birth control mandate is about religious freedom, not contraception, Metaxas argued.

Paraphrasing how he views the government’s position, Metaxas said, “We will force you to violate your conscience. Why? Because we can. We have the power and you Catholics are just the backward religious minority.”

Metaxas’ most recent book is a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian theologian who opposed Hitler during Nazi Germany. Because of Bonhoeffer, Metaxas said, he found himself thinking more about religious freedom in America. He believes there are some “disturbing parallels” between what was taking place in Germany in the 1930s and the United States today on the issue of religious freedom…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/ben-carson-eric-metaxas-warn-of-loss-of-religious-freedom-at-cpac-92013/

     SCHOLAR: LIBERALS, FEMINISTS HAVE MADE MEN AFRAID TO EMBRACE THEIR MANHOOD
A healthy society needs fathers. Men, therefore, need to embrace their manhood and recognize the important role they play as husbands and fathers in a family, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse advised March 15 in a panel on the problem of fatherlessness at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md.

The important role men play in a family is due to their natural instincts to protect the weak and vulnerable, Morse explained, but liberals and feminists have made men afraid to embrace their unique role…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/scholar-liberals-feminists-have-made-men-afraid-to-embrace-their-manhood-92043/

     NEW ‘THEN AND NOW’ BIBLE MAP ATLAS
There are a lot of Bible atlases on the market today, but how do you choose the best one? You want an atlas that really helps you understand the Bible: the people and the places. The new Rose “Then and Now” Bible Map Atlas gives you what your Bible study really needs, including clear plastic overlays with modern-day cities and countries that show you where Bible places are today. These overlays lay on top of the large regional maps. No other topographic atlas has this…. Read this in full at
http://christiannewswire.com/news/1767571715.html

     MAKING EVERY MOMENT COUNT
Jesus commissioned His followers to “Go into the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” To award-winning artist and photographer Jeremy Cowart (http://jeremycowart.com/), that means using words only when absolutely necessary. Cowart believes Christ’s commission is more about action than talk and more about living one’s faith than telling others how to be faithful. In his latest book, What’s Your Mark? Every Moment Counts (Zondervan, March, 2013), Cowart uses the lens of his camera to focus on Christ-followers from every walk of life who are living out the Great Commission, making a mark on the world and basing their actions on the eternal truths found in the New Testament book of Mark…. Read this in full at
http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/03/21/making-every-moment-count/

     CONSIDER
God could not have chosen anyone less qualified, or more of a sinner, than myself. And so, for this wonderful work He intends to perform through us, He selected me – for God always chooses the weak and the absurd, and those who count for nothing.”
– Francis of Assisi

     VERSE TO PONDER
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
– Romans 15:13 (CEB)

     THIS WEEK’S HYMN: AWAY WITH OUR SORROW AND FEAR
Words: Charles Wesley, 1746
Music: arranged by Lewis Edson, 1782

Away with our sorrow and fear!
We soon shall recover our home,
The city of saints shall appear,
The day of eternity come:
From earth we shall quickly remove,
And mount to our native abode,
The house of our Father above,
The palace of angels and God.

Our mourning is all at an end,
When, raised by the life-giving Word,
We see the new city descend,
Adorned as a bride for her Lord;
The city so holy and clean,
No sorrow can breathe in the air;
No gloom of affliction or sin,
No shadow of evil is there.

By faith we already behold
That lovely Jerusalem here;
Her walls are of jasper and gold,
As crystal her buildings are clear;
Immovably founded in grace,
She stands as she ever hath stood,
And brightly her Builder displays,
And flames with the glory of God.

No need of the sun in that day,
Which never is followed by night,
Where Jesus’ beauties display
A pure and a permanent light:
The Lamb is their light and their sun,
And lo! by reflection they shine,
With Jesus ineffably one,
And bright in effulgence divine!

The saints in His presence receive
Their great and eternal reward;
In Jesus, in Heaven they live,
They reign in the smile of their Lord:
The flame of angelical love
Is kindled at Jesus’ face;
And all the enjoyment above
Consists in the rapturous gaze.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/a/w/awosfear.htm

     FRIDAY NIGHT ARCHIVE REPLAY – 03/22/2013
What’s the big deal about Sunday sermons?
Why do we have them?
Are they necessary for your salvation?
What would happen if there was no sermon at your “church” next Sunday?
Would you feel you did not meet your spiritual obligation by not hearing a sermon?
Do you REALLY remember them after you leave the building?

Listen to last Friday night’s (03/22/2013) Path Of Life fellowship gathering online broadcast on Blogtalk radio here: “SERMONS – WHY?”
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepath/2013/03/23/sermons–why

     ON PRAYER
Our prayers lay the track down on which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.”
– Watchman Nee

     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. 

Men Stepping Up
http://mensteppingup.com/

Christian Media Magazine
http://www.christianvideomag.com/cmm2013_2/cmm2013_2.pdf

Vintage National Geographic Photos
http://natgeofound.tumblr.com/

All links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply endorsement by this ministry. 

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your e-mail program, just copy the entire URL (two lines or more) and paste it into a temporary email message. Then delete the return in the middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web browser and hit enter.) 

Q: When can a pregnant lady expect her baby to move? A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.
Frank Coleman, Editor
frank@frankcoleman.com

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box! 

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

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

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

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