CONNECTIONS NEWS – 05/14/2017

Connecting man to man to God
For week of May 14, 2017
Issue 534
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.

Today’s issue is going out to over 2,169 weekly subscribers. Thank you in advance for forwarding this issue to friends, family and associates! To have a friend start their own Free subscription to CONNECTIONS, please have them visit: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/page33.html

Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ. Ephesians 4:32 (CEB)
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+4%3A32&version=CEB

CONSIDER
“The world is not lacking in wonders, but in a sense of wonder.”
– G. K. Chesterton

MANY PRACTICING CHRISTIANS AGREE WITH MARXISM (AND OTHER COMPETING WORLDVIEWS)
They identify as Christians, attend church at least once a month, and say their faith is very important in their lives. Barna Group calls them “practicing Christians.”

But according to a new report by Barna and Summit Ministries, in addition to their Christian beliefs, many practicing Christians have embraced beliefs from other ideologies.

Among these practicing Christians, Barna claims:
* 61% agree with ideas rooted in New Spirituality.
* 54% resonate with postmodernist views.
* 36% accept ideas associated with Marxism.
* 29% believe ideas based on secularism…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2017/may/many-practicing-christians-agree-marxism-worldviews-barna.html

PEW: HERE’S HOW BADLY SOVIET ATHEISM FAILED IN EUROPE
“Believing and belonging, without behaving.” This is how the Pew Research Center summarizes the surge of Christianity in Europe around the fallen Iron Curtain roughly 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“The comeback of religion in a region once dominated by atheist regimes is striking,” states Pew in its latest report. Today, only 14 percent of the region’s population identify as atheists, agnostics, or “nones.” By comparison, 57 percent identify as Orthodox, and another 18 percent as Catholics…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2017/may/pew-atheism-failed-central-eastern-europe-orthodox-identity.html

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL: AN INTERVIEW WITH JOHN MACARTHUR
What did the Apostle Paul mean when he wrote that Christ died for our sins? How is the gospel profound and at the same time simple? What exactly is the gospel?

In this video interview, John MacArthur talks about his book, The Gospel According to Paul: Embracing the Good News at the Heart of Paul’s Teaching (Thomas Nelson, 2017)…. Watch this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/05/the-gospel-according-to-paul-an-interview-with-john-macarthur/

HAVING AN EXIT STRATEGY
by Randy Frazee
My first experience with water skiing came at the age of twenty-four. I was quietly anxious about the adventure. All of my focus was on getting up on those skis. The first attempt was over before it began. One tug from the motorboat, and the rope left my hands and took off without me. On the second try, I got up for a brief second before I face-planted and a rush of brown lake water was sent up my nose. On the third attempt I kept the tension just right to bring my body out of the water. As my body fully emerged, I leaned back just a bit and found the slot. I did it! I was water skiing. A smile overtook my entire face. I had accomplished the goal! Check.

Then it dawned on me. I had spent all my energy and focus on my entrance strategy and had invested zero time considering my exit strategy. I had no idea how to end this experience. Fear overtook me. Thoughts of my falling body skipping across the water like a smooth stone came to mind. Thoughts of my legs rising above my head as I made contact with the concrete water below elevated my blood pressure…. Read this in full at
http://www.faithgateway.com/having-an-exit-strategy/

HANK HANEGRAAFF REVEALS HE HAS RARE FORM OF CANCER, READS ORTHODOX PRAYER SURRENDERING TO GOD
“Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff has told his supporters that doctors have discovered he has a rare form of cancer.

Hanegraaff explained that he’s hoping for a miraculous healing, but at the same time said his prayer is not for his will to be done, but for God’s, and that he will be looking to use his situation to help and encourage others…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/hank-hanegraaff-reveals-he-has-rare-form-cancer-reads-orthodox-prayer-surrendering-god-183034/

MUSLIM-TURNED-CHRISTIAN-APOLOGIST HAS TERMINAL CANCER
Popular Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi has revealed that the cancer he is fighting has now been diagnosed as a terminal illness.

The Pakistani-American became well-known after he converted from Islam to Christianity and became an outspoken evangelist and author. He has written several books including No God but One: Allah or Jesus?

Qureshi has been battling stomach cancer for some time, but the disease has now spread to his lymph nodes, making it impossible for him to receive a surgical procedure to remove it, reports Christian Today.

“This is about the worst news we’ve received since the day we were first diagnosed. And the cancer is now worse than where it was when we were first diagnosed,” he shared in a video update…. Read this in full at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anJpMKR22TQ

Also see this Q&A with Nabeel Qureshi at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2016/08/no-god-but-one-allah-or-jesus-an-interview-with-nabeel-qureshi/

EASTER INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO FROM THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
The season of Easter began Easter Day and lasts 50 days until the Day of Pentecost. Listen to and watch this inspirational video of the Easter account from the Gospel of John: …. Watch this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/05/ter-inspirational-video-from-the-gospel-of-john/

BIBLE ‘CONTRADICTIONS’ AND THE GOLDILOCKS PRINCIPLE
by David Vogel
Christians base our faith on four collections of eyewitness testimony. You and I call them the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books claim to be four distinct collections of eyewitness recollections, either of the writers themselves or of other witnesses whose accounts they compiled. If the stories they tell are true, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Jesus Christ was in fact the Son of God, the Savior of the world. If, on the other hand, their stories are untrustworthy, then Christianity is nothing more than a bunch of fables and maxims; nice, perhaps, but hardly something to base one’s life upon. There is really no more important question than whether we can trust the Gospel stories.

Entire books have been written attacking and defending the credibility of the Gospels, but I’m not going to get that specific today. Rather, I want to highlight a general characteristic of honest eyewitness testimony. If we have multiple distinct eyewitness accounts of an event, we should expect a few points of confusion or apparent contradiction, but not too many. Call it the Goldilocks principle: If we have too many contradictory details, that suggests the witnesses are confused or simply making things up as they go. On the other hand, any prosecutor knows that accounts which line up in every detail are actually a sign of dishonesty. Because we all see different details from different perspectives, and tend to remember or emphasize different things, honest, unrehearsed eyewitnesses will usually present somewhat different accounts. If everything lines up perfectly, that suggests collusion beforehand to “get the story straight.” …. Read this in full at
https://davidvogel.net/2017/05/08/bible-contradictions-goldilocks-principle/

BIBLE READING IS AN ART
by David C. Mathis
To become a good Bible reader, you don’t need a high IQ or a seminary education. You don’t need a library of biblical commentaries or a Bible scholar on speed dial. To become a good Bible reader, you simply need to commit yourself to the simple, regular habit of reading God’s word for yourself.

When your Bible reading seems unremarkable, or when it seems like you don’t have the skills or knowledge to grasp all of what’s there, remember that God’s work always runs deeper than we can see. Over the course of many months and years, God will use his word to mold and shape you into a joy-filled, wisdom-drenched follower of Jesus…. Read this in full at
http://www.desiringgod.org/bible-reading-is-an-art

IS HOMOSEXUALITY THE WORST SIN?
John Piper recently addressed two questions dividing society: Is homosexuality really the worst sin? And if not, why do Christians focus so strongly on that issue?

Piper, the chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary and former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, started with the first question. He said that homosexuality was not the most damaging sin. In fact, he said he believes greed, pride, selfishness and anger are more pernicious issues facing believers today…. Read this in full at
http://www.charismanews.com/culture/64788-it-s-an-abomination-but-is-homosexuality-the-worst-sin

SIN: DISORDERED LOVE
Posted by Clare De Graaf
When I grew up, I had a clear idea what sin was. If the Bible, my pastor or my parents thought something was a sin – it was a sin!

So, what do you think of when you hear the word “sin?”

It’s probably adultery, cheating, stealing – the obvious violations of God’s moral laws. In traditional Christian morality, it’s the understanding that we all have something broken in us. What’s broken is not always something dark and depraved. St. Augustine had a more profound definition of sin.

He said we sin when, “we have our loves out of order.” Think about that for a moment. We sin when our loves are out of order…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2017/05/08/sin-disordered-love/

TEN QUESTIONS CHRISTIANS SHOULD ASK OF THEIR ENTERTAINMENT
by Kevin Halloran
We live in an unprecedented age of entertainment. The average American spends over ten hours per day in front of a screen.

Never before have we had so many options of TV shows, movies, music, blogs, social media, and books available through so many different mediums (TV, internet, Netflix, etc.). How can we make sure we faithfully follow Christ in this new entertainment age?

Discerning media consumption needs more than a litmus test of saying we shouldn’t watch excessive violence and sexuality (which is true). We need to understand the complex and often subtle effects of media on our lives.

Let me be the first to say that I love all sorts of digital media, and get much spiritual benefit from thinking through them in light of Scripture. My goal with this simple list is to help you think more Christianly about what you consume. As you read, ask the Lord how He may want you to change to make the most of your short life…. Read this in full at
http://www.kevinhalloran.net/ten-questions-christians-should-ask-of-their-entertainment/

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS PAST AND PRESENT: AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID L. BAKER
The Ten Commandments, or Decalogue, have long been a pillar of Western law and culture. In more recent times they’ve become a point of controversy in the public square. What place do these “Ten Words” that God delivered at Sinai millennia ago have today?

Bible Gateway interviewed David L. Baker about his book, The Decalogue: Living as the People of God (IVP Academic, 2017)…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/05/the-ten-commandments-past-and-present-an-interview-with-david-l-baker/

GOOD TO GREAT
by Paul Tripp
“Good is the enemy of great.”

That’s the opening sentence from Jim Collins’s best-selling book on corporate management, Good To Great. He writes:

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

What does a book on corporate management have to do with our Christian faith? …. Read this in full at
https://www.paultripp.com/wednesdays-word/posts/good-to-great

VERSE TO PONDER
So now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 (CEB)
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8%3A1-2&version=CEB

CONSIDER
“There is no relief so sweet as the relief of coming clean to God and living again in the truth.”
– Christine Dallman

13TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CHURCH SECURITY CONFERENCE
The National Organization of Church Security & Safety Management (NOCSSM™) will present its 13th Annual National Church Security Conference to be held at Grace Church in Frisco, TX on August 4th and 5th, 2017.

“This conference will be the premier church security event of the year, featuring what we believe to be the absolute best minds in the world on the subject of church security.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/5837179540.html

YOUR MARRIAGE VOWS — IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
by Dr. Les Parrott
Leslie had the flu a week ago. I can’t stand it when she’s sick. I feel so helpless, like I can’t do a thing in the world to make her feel any better. I run to the store and pick up a bottle of 7-Up and some soda crackers. This last time I bought a couple of different kinds of flu medicine. “That’s so sweet,” she said to me as she sat up on the couch wrapped in a blanket…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/05/your-marriage-vows-in-sickness-and-in-health/

GLOBAL SOUTH CHRISTIANS DOMINATE MAJOR PROTESTANT TRADITIONS-EXCEPT BAPTIST
by Philip Jenkins
When I wrote The Next Christendom back in 2002, I was quite proud of the wide range of global churches and Christian traditions that I covered. I did not notice a curious omission in my index: no mention of Baptists. The absence provoked one exasperated Baptist colleague to complain, semiseriously, “We spent how much on foreign missions last year, and this is what we get?” That gap was not intended as a slight or insult on my part, but it does point to a curious aspect of the modern Baptist tradition.

Fifty or a hundred years ago, Christian denominations were heavily concentrated in Europe or North America. Since that time, those bodies have expanded worldwide to the point that Global South believers now predominate, and they usually aspire to make their distinctive voices heard. Name any major Protestant tradition, and that is more or less its modern history. Baptists represent the conspicuous exception to this rule. As in previous generations, Baptists remain heavily concentrated in one Global North region, namely the United States, where they still constitute the largest Protestant tradition…. Read this in full at
https://www.christiancentury.org/article/baptist-exception

US VICE PRESIDENT OPENS CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION SUMMIT
by Bill Bray
US Vice President Mike Pence addressed Christian leaders May 11, 2017 to help kick-off the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians.

Sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), the international summit is scheduled to bring over 600 Christian leaders from 130 countries to discuss the spreading persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.

“Christians are now one of the most victimized groups in the world,” says spokesman Todd Shearer, “215 million Christians experience very high or extreme persecution in 50 countries.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/index.php/component/k2/item/2862-us-vice-president-mike-pence-opens-christian-persecution-summit

FRANKLIN GRAHAM CALLS PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS ‘GENOCIDE’
By Lauren Markoe
Franklin Graham, son of the famed evangelical preacher Billy Graham, urged fellow Christians to struggle against a “Christian genocide” that he says has killed in greater numbers than most believers can fathom.

Graham, who has been criticized by some evangelicals for calling Islam “evil” and for portraying President Donald Trump as aligned with the Christian church, spoke at a conference aimed at highlighting an issue many feel is ignored by politicians and the media…. Read this in full at
http://religionnews.com/2017/05/10/franklin-graham-calls-persecution-of-christians-genocide/

THE BIGGEST MEGACHURCH ON EARTH AND SOUTH KOREA’S ‘CRISIS OF EVANGELISM’
by Matthew Bell
If the building didn’t have a giant cross out front, it could easily be mistaken for a sports arena.

But this is Yoido Full Gospel Church, a Pentecostal congregation belonging to the Korean Assemblies of God — a household name in South Korea. The institution is also known as the largest megachurch in the world, with a congregation approaching 800,000 people, according to church officials…. Read this in full at
https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-05-01/biggest-megachurch-earth-facing-crisis-evangelism

VIDEO: CHRISTIANITY’S MOST IMPORTANT CHURCH BUILDING?
Disaster struck twice over the centuries, causing extensive damage to Jerusalem’s most important church building – but restoration has finally been completed. Watch this in full at
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170504-christianitys-most-important-church

5 FACTS ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
President Trump signed an executive order on “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.” Here are five facts you should know about the order:

1. An executive order is an official document, signed by the president, used to manage the Federal Government. Assuming they are limited to the scope of the executive action allowed by a president, an executive order has the power of federal law. While a president cannot directly create a new law or sign an executive order that violates existing law, he or she can use an executive order to specify how laws will be carried out or direct how a federal agency will carry out a task…. Read this in full at
http://erlc.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/r/C0990FCA0C9A73112540EF23F30FEDED/A8455302FF9D3110D8E2A916412CAE5B

HARVARD CONSIDERS DROPPING LINE FROM SCHOOL SONG THAT REFERENCES SCHOOL’S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
Prestigious university Harvard is considering dropping a line from its ceremonial song because the line references the university’s Christian beginnings.

According to Charisma News, the song “Fair Harvard” includes these ending lyrics:

“Let not moss-covered Error moor thee at its side,
As the world on Truth’s current glides by,
Be the herald of Light, and the bearer of Love,
Till the stock of the Puritans die.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/harvard-considers-dropping-line-from-school-song-that-references-school-s-christian-heritage.html

CHANGING NATURE OF SACRED SPACES
by Wendy Cadge
Congregational membership in the United States is slowly declining. Data from the General Social Survey show that 17 percent of Americans attended a religious gathering weekly in the 1990s. By 2010, this number had dropped to 11 percent.

These changes spark new questions about how people’s personal religious and spiritual beliefs are changing. They also raise questions about where, if at all, people experience the sacred.

With architectural historian Alice Friedman and photographer Randall Armor, I located and documented more than 50 hidden sacred spaces in the greater Boston area alone…. Read this in full at
http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2017/05/02/the_changing_nature_of_sacred_spaces_110135.html

THE MEANING OF LIFE IN A WORLD WITHOUT WORK
by Yuval Noah Harari
Most jobs that exist today might disappear within decades. As artificial intelligence outperforms humans in more and more tasks, it will replace humans in more and more jobs. Many new professions are likely to appear: virtual-world designers, for example. But such professions will probably require more creativity and flexibility, and it is unclear whether 40-year-old unemployed taxi drivers or insurance agents will be able to reinvent themselves as virtual-world designers (try to imagine a virtual world created by an insurance agent!). And even if the ex-insurance agent somehow makes the transition into a virtual-world designer, the pace of progress is such that within another decade he might have to reinvent himself yet again.

The crucial problem isn’t creating new jobs. The crucial problem is creating new jobs that humans perform better than algorithms. Consequently, by 2050 a new class of people might emerge – the useless class. People who are not just unemployed, but unemployable…. Read this in full at
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/08/virtual-reality-religion-robots-sapiens-book

CONSIDER
“Attention to detail is the secret of success in every sphere of life, and little kindnesses, little acts of considerateness, little appreciations, little confidences…they are all that are needed to keep the friendship sweet.”
– Hugh Black

VERSE TO PONDER
Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Your speech should always be gracious and sprinkled with insight so that you may know how to respond to every person.
– Colossians 4:5-6 (CEB)
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+4%3A5-6&version=CEB

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: ALL YE THAT SEEK THE LORD WHO DIED
Words: Charles Wesley, 1746
Music: Wenzel Müller (1767-1835)

All ye that seek the Lord Who died,
Your God for sinners crucified,
Prevent the earliest dawn, and come
To worship at His sacred tomb.

Bring the sweet spices of your sighs,
Your contrite hearts, and streaming eyes,
Your sad complaints, and humble fears;
Come, and embalm Him with your tears.

While thus ye love your souls t’employ,
Your sorrow shall be turned to joy:
Now, let all your grief be o’er!
Believe, and ye shall weep no more.

An earthquake hath the cavern shook,
And burst the door, and rent the rock;
The Lord hath sent His angel down,
And he hath rolled away the stone.

As snow behold his garment white,
His countenance as lightning bright:
He sits, and waves a flaming sword,
And waits upon his rising Lord.

The third auspicious morn is come,
And calls your Savior from the tomb,
The bands of death are torn away,
The yawning tomb gives back its prey.

Could neither seal nor stone secure,
Nor men, nor devils make it sure?
The seal is broke, the stone cast by,
And all the powers of darkness fly.

The body breathes, and lifts His head,
The keepers sink, and fall as dead;
The dead restored to life appear,
The living quake, and die for fear.

No power a band of soldiers have
To keep one body in its grave:
Surely it no dead body was
That could the Roman eagles chase.

The Lord of Life is risen indeed,
To death delivered in your stead;
His rise proclaims your sins forgiv’n,
And show the living way to Heav’n.

Haste then, ye souls that first believe,
Who dare the Gospel-Word receive,
Your faith with joyful hearts confess,
Be bold, be Jesus’ witnesses.

Go tell the followers of your Lord
Their Jesus is to life restored;
He lives, that they His life may find;
He lives, to quicken all mankind.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/a/y/t/aytslowd.htm

ON PRAYER
“In prayer, we are aware that God is in action and that when the circumstances are ready, when others are in the right place, and when our hearts are prepared, he will call us into the action. Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts.”
– Eugene Peterson

PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
http://christiansincrisis.net/

[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know if you’d like
the church guys 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.

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

WATCH: Plane crashes; no serious injuries
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/03/us/washintgon-plane-crash-trnd/index.html

Thirty kids versus two pro soccer players
https://youtu.be/JEVUE6Yyd3M

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

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your email 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.)

On your birthday, send a thank you card to your mom.
Frank Coleman
Editor
rev.frank@gmail.com

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful 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 Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, if you’d like to participate in a men’s discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located at 6459 S. Campbell Ave. Chicago, IL 60629.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/

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