CONNECTIONS News – 07/07/2013

Connecting man to man to God
For week of July 07, 2013
Issue 466

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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The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise, as some think of slowness, but he is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives.”
– 2 Peter 3:9 (CEB)

     CONSIDER
To be sensible of our corruption and abhor our own transgressions is the first symptom of spiritual health.”
– J. C. Ryle

     LEAD LIKE JAZZ
by Scott Olson
In recent years it seems Christians have focused more on “being” and less on “doing.” For the most part, I think this has been a good thing. I’m a doer through and through, and I needed help striking a healthier balance between being and doing. But honestly, sometimes I wonder if we’ve let the pendulum swing too far in the opposite direction.

There’s nothing wrong with spending long worship sessions marinating in God’s presence. I love that. But there comes a time when we have to put down the guitars — and even our Bibles — and take to the streets. The danger with musicians (and, actually, human beings in general) is that it’s easy to think we’re the center of the universe. We get caught up with our own needs and experiences and forget about the enormous needs around the world. We need to be reminded that there is work to be done…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2013/july-online-only/lead-like-jazz-part-3.html

     IT’S 6:00 AM – DO YOUR CHILDREN KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?
by Clare De Graaf
The title of this blog is an actual question I asked a group of parents recently. The question gets to the heart of leaving a spiritual legacy for your children: Do your children know where to find you daily in prayer or studying scripture?

When I begin mentoring a man seriously, I’ll often ask him this: “Make a list of your gods.” He never includes the one I’m addressing in this blog.

God said in the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me.” If I didn’t have a block of time regularly (preferably daily) devoted solely to the worship and study of God, I think it’s quite reasonable that God would conclude that everything else in my life was more important than him! …. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2013/07/01/its-600-a-m-do-your-children-know-where-you-are/

     FINDING THE RIGHT WORDS FOR GOD’S WORD
In the book One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? (IVP Academic), Dave Brunn, dean of academics for New Tribes Mission’s USA Missionary Training Center, explains the choices faced by Bible translators and exposes the limits of English-language conventions in understanding the translation process. Lindsay Olesberg, Scripture engagement director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and author of The Bible Study Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to an Essential Practice (InterVarsity Press), spoke with Brunn about the judgment calls that translators inevitably face, no matter which translation theories they espouse.

Q: Why do English-speaking evangelicals face so much tension around this issue?

A: Part of the tension is due to a limited, incomplete view of translation. I don’t question anyone’s motives. They are all driven by a desire to protect the faithfulness and accuracy of God’s Word as it is translated into English or another language.

But it is a little bit dangerous to raise discussion of Bible translation to the level of doctrine. Obviously, there are key doctrines, such as the Virgin Birth and the deity of Christ, that we must protect very carefully. But the Bible does not give instructions on how to translate a message from one language into another…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/june/translation-truth.html?paging=off

     PUBLISHER TO RELEASE FIRST 4 VOLUMES OF 2,000-PAGE ‘MARVEL’ COMICS STYLE BIBLE THIS YEAR
A Florida-based Christian publisher is working on a 12-volume, 2,000-page graphic version of the Bible that the publisher says will become the “Marvel” of the faith market and be the most complete graphic adaptation of the Bible ever done.

“Each volume is a rich narrative sequentially illustrated to teach and explain the major stories and themes in the Bible in a historical and chronological manner,” says its publisher Kingstone.

The first four volumes will be launched this year, comprising Old Testament books from Genesis to Judges. The remaining volumes are expected to be released in 2014…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/publisher-to-release-first-four-volumes-of-2000-page-marvel-comics-style-bible-this-year-99121/

     THE EASY YOKE
Did you ever stop to ask what a yoke is really for? Is it to be a burden to the animal which wears it? It is just the opposite. It is to make its burden light. Attached to the oxen in any other way than by a yoke, the plow would be intolerable. Worked by means of a yoke, it is light. A yoke is not an instrument of torture; it is an instrument of mercy. It is not a malicious contrivance for making work hard; it is a gentle device to make hard labor light… [Christ] knew the difference between a smooth yoke and a rough one, a bad fit and a good one… The rough yoke galled, and the burden was heavy; the smooth yoke caused no pain, and the burden was lightly drawn. The badly fitted harness was a misery; the well fitted collar was “easy.”

And what was the ‘burden’? It was not some special burden laid upon the Christian, some unique infliction that they alone must bear. It was what all men bear. It was simply life, human life itself, the general burden of life which all must carry with them from the cradle to the grave. Christ saw that men took life painfully. To some it was a weariness, to others failure, to many a tragedy, to all a struggle and a pain. How to carry this burden of life had been the whole world’s problem. And here is Christ’s solution: ‘Carry it as I do. Take life as I take it. Look at it from My point of view. Interpret it upon my principles. Take my yoke and learn of me, and you will find it easy. For my yoke is easy, works easily, sits right upon the shoulders, and therefore my burden is light.’”
– Henry Drummond (1851-1897), “Pax Vobiscum”, in Addresses, H. Altemus, 1891, p. 124,127-129

     4 REASONS GOD VALUES YOUR WORK
by Os Hillman
Christians often measure the significance of a job by its perceived value from the eternal perspective. Will the work last; will it “really count” for eternity? The implication is that God approves of work for eternity, but places little value on work for the here and now.

By this measure, the work of ministers and missionaries has eternal value because it deals with people’s spiritual, eternal needs. By contrast, the work of a salesman, teller, or typist has only limited value, because it meets only earthly needs. In other words, this kind of work doesn’t really “count” in God’s eyes.

But this way of thinking overlooks several important truths…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/christian-life/vocation-and-calling/4-reasons-god-values-your-work.html

     HOW MICHAEL FANG SEES HIS LEADERSHIP IN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY AS KINGDOM WORK
by Kelli Gotthardt
Michael Fang admits he’s a bit of an overachiever. Accepted into Northwestern Medical School directly out of high school (contingent on completing three years of undergrad work there), his youth belies his drive and accomplishments. At 35, he’s a geriatrician and president of his own tech company who plans to enter the gaming industry. Living in Chicago with his wife and son, Fang is looking to Silicon Valley to better understand how to integrate faith and technology. I recently sat down with Fang in Walnut Creek, California, where he was attending a medical technology conference and meeting fellow Christians who are tech experts…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/thisisourcity/silicon-valley/following-jesus-best-tech-guru.html?paging=off

     GOD IS FAITHFUL
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
– Isaac Watts

     HOW ARE MEN DOING?
by David Delk
You probably know the story of Chicken Little, who felt an acorn land on his head and began to tell all the animals he saw, “The sky is falling.” Of course the sky wasn’t falling, and Chicken Little’s hysterics caused all sorts of mischief.

But what if the sky were falling? How would you warn the other animals?

In this article, I’m going to argue that in many ways, for men in America, the sky IS falling. But I’m not going to scream hysterically in all caps. Instead, I’m going to present some of the data and let you decide for yourself. I won’t present a lot of conclusions; I’m hoping we can work to find those together over the next few months.

And in spite of this data, we believe God is at work. The Great Commission still stands, and it certainly applies to men. We have made our decision; by God’s grace we will continue the fight until every church disciples every man — by the power of Christ alone, and to the glory of God alone. This is a battle we must win.

Let’s take a look at some of the most significant areas of a man’s life and see how we are doing…. Read this in full at
http://www.maninthemirror.org/alm/215-how-are-men-doing-the-state-of-men-in-america

     ONE WORD CHANGES THE STORY, AND ONE STORY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
by Rob Horsley
Ah summer. The sun is shining, the breeze is comfortably cool, and the Leafs are out—of the playoffs, that is.

The National Hockey League postseason is wrapped up, but for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, memories from the season’s nightmarish end are still fresh.

After being up by a score of 4-1 with less than 12 minutes left in the third period, the Leafs went on to lose in overtime of Game 7 to division rivals, and eventual Eastern Conference Champions, the Boston Bruins. It was a collapse of epic proportions, the first of its kind in history, and one that shocked Leafs nation to its core.

Disappointing, yes. Unexpected? Hardly. Comes with the territory for fans of the Blue and White… and sadly, I’m one of them.

Being a Leafs fan is kind of like being a Christian. It takes commitment. It takes more patience than can be reasonably expected of any clear-thinking human being. And often, it’s not a whole lot of fun. And, just when you think you’re about to be rewarded for those many years and those many, many tears…sometimes it doesn’t seem to get any better…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianweek.org/stories.php?id=2389

     HA! 🙂
As I was carrying a heavy piece of sound equipment from our praise band’s rehearsal studio to the sanctuary of our church, my wife suggested I use a dolly. How Raggedy Ann could help, I don’t know.
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com

     FINDING HAPPINESS
Pastor and author Tim Keller says, according to the Bible, happiness is a by-product of meaningful searches. Listen to his remarks at
http://gnli.christianpost.com/video/tim-keller-on-true-happiness-11591

     ARCHAEOLOGISTS: WE FOUND SHILO TABERNACLE
Archaeologists say they have found the remains of the biblical Israelites’ Tabernacle at the site of ancient Shilo. The Tabernacle precedes the Temples and dates to the period between the conquest of the Land of Israel by Joshua and the rise of King David.

Among the findings are holes hewn into the rock at the site. These holes, the archaeologists explain, could have been used in order to prop up wooden beams used in a temporary structure like the Tabernacle. The beams formed part of the walls of the Tabernacle, and they would have had to be fixed to the ground in some way…. Read this in full at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/169512

     VERSE TO PONDER
You must not take revenge nor hold a grudge against any of your people; instead, you must love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.”
– Leviticus 19:18 (CEB)

     CONSIDER
The dark moments of our life will last only as long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us.”
– Charles Stanley

     MEN & CHRISTIAN FRIENDSHIP: IT WON’T JUST HAPPEN ON ITS OWN
by Shawn McEvoy
I own many books, but the ones I reference often I keep above my desk at work. One of these is a 1983 edition of David W. Smith’s The Friendless American Male. It’s a title that, sadly, has only grown more accurate in the last three decades, its content more applicable. Men, especially us hard-working, married-with-children types, are lacking in close biblical friendships. The reasons are varied and several, and it’s not my intent in the space of a daily devotional to present or solve them all. Suffice to say that most men I talk with vouch for the lack of quality friendships in their life, even if they speak of different reasons for the condition.

It’s something I worry about, something I marvel at when I consider some of the differences between myself and my own father. For example, back when my father was climbing the ladder in the Tucson Real Estate industry and had children the ages mine are now, his weekends were all his own. Tennis in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday. Soaking up sun at the pool or doing yardwork in the afternoons. Watching sports or even working in the evenings. A quarterly fishing trip. Several of these activities involved his friends and acquaintances. It must be pointed out that he didn’t know or serve the Lord at this time in his life, but it’s also important to note that, to the best of my recollection, we kids weren’t starved for his attention or affection. It still seemed like we were close, and had plenty of time together. So, I merely use my father as the model I was shown for what men were expected (allowed?) to do and be socially in the 1970s…. Read this in full at
http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/crosswalk-devo/men-christian-friendship-crosswalk-the-devotional-march-18-2011.html

     THE 7 PROMISES OF A PROMISE KEEPER
PROMISE 1
A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring Jesus Christ through worship, prayer and obedience to God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 12:1-2)
Also see: Psalm 95:1-7; 98:2-3, Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 3:3-13, Luke 18:1 John 4:32, Acts 2:30-39, Romans 12:1-3, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Galatians 2:20, 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10, 2 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 12:1-11, 2 Peter 3:11, Revelation 4:8-11

PROMISE 2
A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.(Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Also see: Genesis 14:12-16, Job 16:1-5, Proverbs 17:17;27:17, Ecclesiastes 4:9-11, Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 14:32-34, Luke 6:12-16, Acts 20:32-38, Romans 15:30-33, Colossians 4:7-9, James 5:16, 1 Peter 5:4-10, Hebrews 10:24, 3 John 3-4

PROMISE 3
A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Also see: Exodus 20:3; 33:12-17, Joshua 7:6-12, 1 Kings 11:1-12, 1 Chronicles 29:17-18, Psalm 101:2-4, Proverbs 11:1; 19:5; 20:11, Ecclesiastes 7:11-12, Song of Songs 2:4-7; 7:1-13, Micah 6:6-8, Matthew 4:1-11, Romans 16:19, 1 Peter 2:11-22

PROMISE 4
A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values. (Ephesians 5:25; 6:4)
Also see: Genesis 2:22-25, Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Ezra 9:12, Esther 2:10-11, Job 1:1-5, Psalm 127:1-5, Proverbs 5:15-20; 17:6, Proverbs 18:22; 22:15. Proverbs 31:10-31, Song of Songs 2:1; 4:1-7, Song of Songs 5:16; 8:6-7; 8:13-14, Joel 1:2-3, Mark 10:6-9, Acts 16:14-15 Hebrews 13:4

PROMISE 5
A Promise Keeper is committed to supporting the mission of his church by honoring and praying for his pastor, and by actively giving his time and resources. (1 Timothy 5:17)
Also see: Genesis 45:8, Malachi 3:10, Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 14:26-27, John 17:15-19, Acts 4:32-37; 5:12, Acts 6:1-5; 11:29-30; 28:7-10, Romans 12:4-8, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Galatians 6:3-6, Philippians 4:10-18, Hebrews 10:25, 1 Peter 2:4-5; 4:8-11

PROMISE 6
A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity. (John 17:20-21) Also see: Genesis 11:1-8, Leviticus 19:32-34, Numbers 25:1-18, Ruth 1:16-17, Proverbs 6:1-35; 22:2, Isaiah 53:1-12, Luke 10:25-37, Acts 10:24-33, 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:3-9, Ephesians 2:14; 4:2-3, Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 14:65

PROMISE 7
A Promise Keeper is committed to influencing his world, being obedient to the Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)
Also see: Exodus 1:15-27, Nehemiah 2:17-20; 5:14-18, Psalm 82:3-4, Proverbs 1:1-6; 19:17; 28:27, Matthew 7:15-20, Mark 12:30-31, Acts 5:38-39, Romans 10:14, Corinthians 9:19-23, 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10, 2 John 4-6.
http://www.promisekeepers.org/about/7-promises

     FINDING PEACE
by Donna Schuller
As a mind, body, soul wellness coach it always amazes me how many people worry and get stressed-out about things that never end up happening. I hear stories that involve escalating family problems, potential health issues, challenging professional situations, and anything else us humans can think of which stifle us from living God’s will for our lives. A few I have known will even worry to the point of obsession, and this is a sure-fire formula that can cause health problems in our spiritual life, our emotional life, and in our physical body.

The following is what Jesus says about worry. This passage of scripture can be found in the book of Luke, Chapter 12, verses 22-28: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body; what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in his entire splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and then thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith?”

Worry is the thief of peace yet many of us spend countless hours worrying about things that will never happen! …. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2013/s13070007.htm

     BEWARE BIBLE MCNUGGETS
by John Stonestreet
When Christians know far more about entertainment trivia than the Bible, we’ve got a problem. And it’s ironic, given we have more access to the Bible than any other time in history.

According to the American Bible Society, the average household has 4.3 copies of the Bible. This doesn’t even count the ones on our smart phones and iPads, or the pew pockets in every church. We’ve even personalized the Bible for every possible life situation: we’ve got the Teen Bible, the Women’s Bible, the Dad’s Bible, the Leadership Bible…you name it. And yet Gallup has dubbed the United States “a nation of biblical illiterates.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/22574

     MOVING BEYOND THE ‘BIBLE VERSE WARS’ TO WHAT THE BIBLE ACTUALLY SAYS
by Steven Harrell
The key to winning the “Bible Verse Arms Race” is to pile up as many verses on your side of the argument as you can while simultaneously discounting your opponent’s verses because they aren’t reading them in the correct context or they have the original language wrong.

It’s universally understood that New Testament verses always trump the Old Testament, and Jesus’ Red Letters always trump Paul. The game is most popular among high school students, seminary students, and Emergent theology bloggers.

Predestination vs. free will. Consubstantiation vs. transubstantiation. Faith alone vs. good works. Scriptural authority vs. traditional authority. Mysticism vs. orthodoxy. For 2,000 years, each side has had verses that seem to very much confirm their relevance to the faith, while other verses seem to diminish them altogether…. Read this in full at
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/being-biblical-isnt-same-being-right

     THE FORMATION OF SCRIPTURAL IMAGINATION
by C. Kavin Rowe
Christian leaders are to lead in the pattern of Christ. In a previous reflection, I drew attention to the importance of developing a “background” so that Christian thought/practice become second nature. Nothing is so crucially important to the Christian shape of this background than a scriptural imagination.

Since speaking of a “scriptural imagination” is not necessarily a common way to talk, however, it makes good sense to explain what we mean.

By imagination we do not mean so much the capacity for certain kinds of play that we have in abundance as a child and often lose as we age, or a distinct area or activity of the brain that corresponds to creativity, fantasy and the like…. Read this in full at
http://www.faithandleadership.com/features/articles/c-kavin-rowe-the-formation-scriptural-imagination

     HOW WILLIAM LANE CRAIG BECAME CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY’S BOLDEST APOSTLE
by Nathan Schneider
Well-publicized atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are closer to being household names than William Lane Craig is, but within the subculture of evangelical Christians interested in defending their faith rationally, he has had a devoted following for decades. Many professional philosophers know about him only vaguely, but in the field of philosophy of religion, his books and articles are among the most cited. And though he works mainly from his home, in suburban Marietta, Ga., he holds a faculty appointment at Biola University, an evangelical stronghold on the southeastern edge of Los Angeles County and home to one of the largest philosophy graduate programs in the world.

Surveys suggest that the philosophy professoriate is among the most atheistic subpopulations in the United States; even those philosophers who specialize in religion believe in God at a somewhat lower rate than the general public does. Philosophers have also lately been in a habit of humility, as their profession’s scope seems to shrink before the advance of science and the modern university’s preference for research that wins corporate contracts. But it is partly because of William Lane Craig that one can hear certain stripes of evangelicals whispering to one another lately that “God is working something” in the discipline. And through the discipline, they see a way of working something in society as a whole…. Read this in full at
http://chronicle.com/article/The-New-Theist/140019/

     CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST WHO IS BIOCHEMIST: SCIENCE PROVES NEED FOR CREATOR
Science itself proves the need for a creator, says biochemist and Christian apologist Fazale Rana, executive vice president of Research and Apologetics at Reasons to Believe.

In an interview with the Christian Post, Rana discussed the achievements of his two debates in May, and his upcoming teaching schedule. He continues to work to put forward “a model supported by scripture that can be subjected to the rigors of scientific testing.”

In May, he debated Michael Ruse, Florida State University professor of the Philosophy of Biology, Ethics, and the History and Philosophy of Science. Ruse also testified as a key witness for the 1981 case McLean v. Arkansas, which struck down the Arkansas state law permitting the teaching of “creation science.”

Debating Ruse, Rana laid out four points. “Every attempt to explain the origin of life through natural means has arrived at a dead end,” he asserted, defending his argument with numerous references to scientific literature…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-apologist-who-is-biochemist-science-proves-need-for-creator-99285/

     RELIGION AND HUMAN RIGHTS: AN INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER (PART 1)
by Jonathan Merritt
When I entered the office of President Jimmy Carter off Freedom Parkway in Atlanta, I was filled with the anxiety I suppose anyone has when meeting such a person. He sat behind a mahogany desk reading a newspaper. The grandfatherly figure greeted me warmly before we moved to a sitting area for the interview.

President Carter has called abuses of women “the most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violations on earth.

Eighty percent of slaves are women, and 80% of those are sold for sexual abuse. In Saudi Arabia, for example, women aren’t allowed to drive automobiles or vote in political elections. Though The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been ratified by every major nation on earth, it is often ignored on religious grounds.

There are also more civilized oppressions in addition to the ones that often capture widespread media attention. In the United States, for example, women make about 70% less for doing the same job as their male counterparts. Among Christians, Carter said, these injustices are perpetuated when “singular verses are extracted and distorted.” …. Read this in full at
http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/07/01/religion-and-human-rights-an-interview-with-jimmy-carter-part-one/

See PART 2 of the interview at
http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/07/01/religion-and-human-rights-an-interview-with-jimmy-carter-part-two/

     DO PEOPLE NEED ART?
Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Emeritus Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale University, tackles the question: Is art simply a luxury or is there something deeper? …. See this video in full at
http://www.churchleaders.com/worship/worship-videos/168509-nicholas-wolterstorff-do-people-need-art.html

     SHUT MY MOUTH
God keep me from saying anything that would be unloving; God shut my mouth if I am not to speak in tender love. But what I am saying is a fact. How often there is found among Christians who are banded together in work, sharp criticism, sharp judgment, hasty opinion, unloving words, secret contempt of each other, secret condemnation of each other. Oh, just as a mother’s love covers her children and delights in them and has the tenderest compassion with their foibles or failures, so there ought to be in the heart of every believer a motherly love toward every brother and sister in Christ. Have you aimed at that? Have you sought it? Have you ever pleaded for it?”
– Andrew Murray (1828-1917), Absolute Surrender, Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1897, p. 28

     WHY WE NEED ‘BREAKING BAD’
by Jackson Cuidon
“I find atheism just as hard to get my head around as fundamental Christianity,” says Vince Gilligan, creator of the television show Breaking Bad. “Because if there is no such thing as cosmic justice, what’s the point of being good?” Gilligan isn’t going for escape, but replication: mimesis rather than catharsis, that sort of thing.

In short: what we see on Breaking Bad is the way Gilligan thinks life works, or at least how it should work. And because of that, Breaking Bad is perhaps the most important thing on television right now.

….If Breaking Bad is a good show (and I, among many others, allege that it’s one of the best), then it can’t be harmless, or safe, or congratulatory. It is none of those things, because the show’s not just telling us a story about a good man who became bad, but a story about the way the world works. It is teaching us about what it means to choose things, to become who we are, to be a human being…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/july-web-only/breaking-bad.html?paging=off

     ATHEISTS UNVEIL FLORIDA MONUMENT NEAR TEN COMMANDMENTS
A group of atheists unveiled a monument to their nonbelief in God on June 29 to sit alongside a granite slab that lists the Ten Commandments in front of the Bradford County courthouse.

As a small group of protesters blasted Christian country music and waved “Honk for Jesus” signs, the atheists celebrated what they believe is the first atheist monument allowed on government property in the United States.

“When you look at this monument, the first thing you will notice is that it has a function. Atheists are about the real and the physical, so we selected to place this monument in the form of a bench,” said David Silverman, president of American Atheists…. Read this in full at
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/atheists-unveil-monument-ten-commandments

     WILDERNESS, MONASTERIES, AND MORAL SPACES
by Kristel Clayville
In a recent article in the New York Times, “Predator and Prey, a Delicate Dance,” John Vucetich, Michael Nelson, and Rolf Peterson describe a scenario that challenges the meanings we attach to the word, wilderness. They write of Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior where the balance between wolves, moose, and vegetation have become drastically out of kilter because of the genetic isolation of the wolf population. “New” wolves cannot reach this area because, as a result of warmer temperatures, ice bridges between the island and the mainland form less often. Without a robust number of wolves to prey on moose, the ecosystem of the island has fallen apart.

The NYT authors outline three courses of action that the National Park Service could take: 1) genetic rescue of the wolf population by bringing new wolves to the island, 2) reintroduction of wolves to the island should they go extinct, and 3) letting nature run its course by doing nothing…. Read this in full at
http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=6b2c705bf61d6edb1d5e0549d&id=91c13e8993&e=[UNIQID]

     FRANCE AIMS TO ALLOW EUTHANASIA DESPITE ETHICS DOUBTS
President Francois Hollande reaffirmed his aim to legalise voluntary euthanasia after a majority of France’s national ethics committee advised him not to let doctors help the terminally ill take their lives.

Hollande said France would hold a national debate on the issue in coming months and his government would submit a bill in parliament by year’s end that would go beyond the current law that bars doctors from providing assisted suicide…. Read this in full at
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/07/01/uk-france-euthanasia-idUKBRE9600X920130701

     TELLTALE SIGNS YOU’RE SLEEP DEPRIVED
Research shows that one in three of us don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, and chronic sleep-deprivation is hard on our health and our brain. In fact, anyone who gets 6-hours of sleep or less has the same thinking skills as someone that’s stayed awake for 48 hours.

So, how can you tell if you’re sleep-deprived?

First: You find it hard to concentrate and make decisions. A tired brain conserves brainpower, which means, it can barely handle one thing at a time. So you’ll lack the focus to see the entire situation, or the big picture, and how things affect it. That’s why a lack of sleep is associated with making risky decisions. For example, you may decide you have enough time to drive across the train tracks before the train comes. But your response time and accuracy is reduced, and you may not think things through and realize you’re better off waiting for the train to pass…. Read this in full at
http://www.tesh.com/story/health-and-well-being-category/telltale-signs-youre-sleep-deprived/cc/6/id/25844

     CONSIDER
To take all that we are and have and hand it over to God may not be easy; but it can be done; and when it is done, the world has in it one less candidate for misery.”
– Paul Scherer

     VERSE TO PONDER
God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep! They are as mysterious as his judgments, and they are as hard to track as his paths!”
– Romans 11:33 (CEB)

     THIS WEEK’S HYMN: LORD, IN THY PRESENCE DREAD AND SWEET
Words: Anonymous, circa 1850
Music: Henry W. Beecher, 1855

Lord, in Thy presence dread and sweet,
Thine own dear Spirit we entreat
His sevenfold gifts to shed
On us, who fall before Thee now,
Bearing the cross upon our brow
On which our Master bled.

Spirit of wisdom! turn our eyes
From earth and earthly vanities,
To heavenly truth and love.
Spirit of understanding true!
Our souls with holy light endue
To seek the things above.

Spirit of counsel! be our guide;
Teach us by earthly struggles tried
Our heavenly crown to win.
Spirit of fortitude! Thy power
Be with us in temptation’s hour,
To keep us pure from sin.

Spirit of knowledge! lead our feet
In Thine own paths secure and sweet,
By angel footsteps trod;
Where Thou our Guardian true shalt be,
Spirit of gentle piety!
To keep us close to God.

But most of all, be ever near,
Spirit of God’s most holy fear,
In our heart’s inmost shrine:
Our souls with loving reverence fill,
To worship His most holy will,
All righteous and divine.

So, dearest Lord, through peace or strife,
Led us to everlasting life,
Where only rest may be.
What matter where our lot is cast,
If only it may end at last
In paradise with Thee!

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/l/i/t/litpdras.htm

     ON PRAYER
The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives–altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. But what I have come to see is that God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture. We do not have to be bright, or pure, or filled with faith, or anything. That is what grace means, and not only are we saved by grace, we live by it as well. And we pray by it.”
– Richard J. Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, HarperCollins, 1992, p. 8

     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. 

Video: Watch Amazing Journey of an Iron Dad and His Disabled Son
http://www.godfruits.com/true-commitment-watch-amazing-journey-of-an-iron-dad-and-his-disabled-son-5075.php

Video: Kids Grow Up So Fast
http://www.godfruits.com/kids-grow-up-so-fast-watch-this-daughter-zoom-from-birth-to-12-awesome-20306.php

11 disappearing car features
http://www.money.cnn.com/gallery/autos/2013/07/02/car-features-disappear.fortune/index.html

Step-by-Step Instructions for Unplugging from the Internet
http://www.fastcompany.com/3012710/unplug/unplug-the-complete-printable-guide

Billion-Pixel View of Mars Comes From Curiosity Rover
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-205

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.) 

Marriage Advice: A career is a fine thing. But while you’re busy earning your salt, don’t forget to pay attention to your sugar.
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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