CONNECTIONS NEWS – 05-28-2017

Connecting man to man to God
For week of May 28, 2017
Issue 536
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

Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry.
– James 1:19
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1%3A19&version=CEB;NIV;NLT;KJV

CONSIDER
“One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.”
– Jim Elliot

‘THY KINGDOM COME’ GLOBAL PRAYER EVENT
What began as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England in 2016 has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.

Between May 25 — June 4, 2017, the campaign Thy Kingdom Come is calling communities and churches internationally to gather to pray that their
friends, families, and neighbors come to know Jesus Christ…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/05/thy-kingdom-come-global-prayer-event/

ONLY 47% OF BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS BELIEVE ABSOLUTE MORAL TRUTH IS FOUND IN THE BIBLE
Based on their beliefs about what awaits them after they die on earth, three out of every ten adults in the United States are born again Christians. There are many assumptions about the faith of that group – some of which prove to be inaccurate according to a new nationwide survey by the American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI).

The survey did not rely upon people to describe themselves as “born again Christian.” Instead, respondents were asked what they thought would happen to them after they die. The respondents were given 10 options to choose from, one of which was the statement “after I die I know I will go to Heaven because I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.” Thirty percent of the 3,000 adults interviewed met that definition.

That particular response was the most popular of all ten answers offered to participants in the study. Almost as popular was the admission that the individual had no idea what would happen to them after they died, a reply chosen by 25%.

The remaining eight response options encompassed the perceptions of the remaining half of the population. Less than one out of every ten adults chose each of the other eight response options. That included those who said they would go to Heaven either because they have been good person (9%), or because God loves all people and will not let them perish (7%), or because they have tried to obey the 10 Commandments and God’s rules (6%). The idea of reincarnation is embraced by 7% – they believe they will return to earth as a different life form or different person. The notion of going to a place of purification before being allowed to enter Heaven – a place known to Catholics as “Purgatory” – was embraced by 4%. The idea of any kind of conscious afterlife was summarily dismissed by 8% – half of whom said there is no such place as Heaven or Hell and the other half stating that there is no life after death, physically or spiritually…. Read this in full at
https://www.culturefaith.com/where-born-agains-are-missing-the-mark/

AMERICANS WORRY LESS ABOUT GUILT & FEAR AND MORE ABOUT AVOIDING SHAME
by Bob Smietana
Many Americans are more worried about their reputation than their conscience.

They worry less about guilt and fear and more about avoiding shame, according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

Shame has become particularly powerful in American culture in the internet age, said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. A single mistake or embarrassing moment posted on social media can ruin a person’s life.

“What’s our biggest cultural fear?” he asked. “Shame.”

McConnell added, “What’s surprising is not that personal freedom, ambition, and doing the right thing are valued by Americans. It’s that risk to our reputation is what matters most.” …. Read this in full at
http://lifewayresearch.com/2017/05/23/americans-want-to-avoid-shame-make-their-loved-ones-proud/

DISCOVER YOUR TRUE IDENTITY: AN INTERVIEW WITH SONGWRITER MATTHEW WEST
Are you struggling to find your true identity? Have you been damaged by somebody’s hurtful words? What does the Bible say about your identity not being found within, but through Jesus Christ?

Bible Gateway interviewed Matthew West about his book, Hello, My Name Is: Discover Your True Identity (Worthy Publishing, 2017)…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/05/discover-your-true-identity-an-interview-with-matthew-west/

WHY SHOULD WE READ THE BIBLE?
by David C. Mathis
Sitting with his closest friends, with the shadow of his own death looming in the upper room, Jesus lifted up his voice to the Father and uttered some of the most profound words of his ministry: “This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Life – to know and enjoy Jesus Christ…. Read this in full at
http://www.desiringgod.org/why-read-the-bible

FOUR REASONS TO BRING YOUR BIBLE TO CHURCH
by Mike Phay
It took me a while as a pastor, in the early days of iPads and smartphones, to get used to people staring at their screens during the sermon. “How rude,” I thought. “Do they seriously think I can’t see them? These are adults, acting like teenagers!” Not being the regular preacher at the time, I was appalled at the ever-increasing number of faces that I would see lit by glowing screens each time I filled the pulpit.

It took me a while to realize that these folks weren’t rude. They were just reading their Bibles! …. Read this in full at
http://ftc.co/resource-library/1/2861

HOW TO READ THE BIBLE SUPERNATURALLY
John Piper
Perhaps the most explicit passage in the Bible that tells us to “act the miracle”—including the miracle of reading the Bible supernaturally—is Philippians 2:12–13:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

To feel the amazing force of this passage, consider three observations.

1) The verb translated “work out your salvation” means “produce it,” or “bring it about,” or “effect it.” As doctrinally dangerous as this language may seem, it is biblical. “Bring about your salvation.” “Produce your salvation.” “Effect your salvation by continuous, sustained, strenuous, effort.” I say “dangerous” because Paul also teaches that salvation “is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:9). But there is no contradiction here, because the works that can’t save are the works that try to produce a saving relationship with God. That is hopeless (Rom. 3:20). The works that “effect” our salvation are works that God himself brings about because there already is a saving relationship. That’s what Paul goes on to show…. Read this in full at
https://www.preaching.com/resources/book-reviews/read-bible-supernaturally/

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A LITERAL TRANSLATION
by James F. McGrath
With very few exceptions, words do not mean one single thing that can be clearly identified. They have a central meaning, which spreads out and extends into related areas. In addition, words take on figurative and colloquial meanings which can be far removed from their original senses. A good example of this is provided by the word “literally”, itself, which means the exact opposite of – well – “literally” in a phrase such as “I was literally over the moon”.

The meanings of words is fuzzy and to add complication, no two words in different languages are fuzzy in the same way. Words such as poreuo and go have the same central meaning, but they don’t share the same extended meanings at all. There is no literal translation of poreuo into English. The best we can come up with is an approximation; even using three long phrases as the blog post did, will not capture the full sense of the original.

So why am I bothered about this? …. Read this in full at
https://www.kouya.net/?p=8384

ASCENSION DAY: JESUS ASCENDS TO HEAVEN
May 25 was Ascension Day, the 40th day of Easter when we commemorate Jesus’ ascent into heaven.

While it’s common to picture Jesus’ resurrection at Easter as the final major event in his earthly ministry, his ascent is important too. Not just
because it marks Jesus’ physical departure from Earth, but because during it Jesus issued a famous command that his followers try to pursue even today,
thousands of years later: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” …. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/05/celebrate-ascension-day/

YOU HAVE A JOSEPH CALLING ON YOUR LIFE
by Os Hillman
In 1994 I was married, had built a successful ad agency for twelve years in Atlanta, and had enough money in the bank to retire comfortably. I led Bible studies, gave away money to Christian causes, and thought I was a model Christian business leader. However, I was struggling in my marriage of fourteen years. We had been in counseling most of our married life, and there were issues I was constantly struggling with. Not only that, but I had a twelve-year- old daughter who did not feel loved due to the marital conflicts at home.

In the spring of 1994, my world began to fall apart. My wife wanted to separate. Within three months, several other things began to happen: One day my investment manager called and said, “It’s all gone!” A Bernie Madoff scammer had confiscated half a million dollars in investments and fled the country. Soon after, my largest ad client, who represented 80 percent of our business, refused to pay a $140,000 bill and fired us as their ad agency. And just a short time later, my vice-president came to me and said he was leaving the company. What he did not say was that he was taking my second largest account with him…. Read this in full at
http://www.crosswalk.com/family/career/you-have-a-joseph-calling-on-your-life.html

THE VIDEO ‘EVERYONE IS GAY’
by Clare De Graaf
Several weeks ago, I received a desperate call from our daughter at the public high school several of our grandchildren attend. All the students were shown a video that celebrated the “fact” that students shouldn’t think of themselves as strictly male or female, but somewhere on a spectrum. In other words, students are being taught that just because we are born with “girl parts” or “boy parts” we have the freedom to identify and act out sexually, according to the gender we feel, even from day to day – gender fluidity.

We tried to get a copy of that video, but the administration will not release it. However, a segment of that video was taken from this video “Everyone is Gay,” (https://youtu.be/0VG1bj4Lj1Q) which has been viewed over 3,000,000 times. You need to watch this video, because it is creatively, and seductively causing children to both doubt their own sexuality, but it celebrates an indifference to the historical understanding of being male or female. After you’ve watched it, I’ll let you read my edited response to the school superintendent…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2017/05/22/everyone-is-gay/

VERSE TO PONDER
Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other.
– Romans 12:10
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A10&version=CEB;CSB;NET;NKJV

CONSIDER
“Nothing fails quite so totally as success without God.”
– Vic Pentz

THE RELIGION GUY: WHAT DOES CHRISTIANITY TEACH ABOUT PROTECTING YOURSELF (E.G. MOTORCYCLING)?
by Richard Ostling
BARBARA’S QUESTION:
My son is in his 20s. He’s a devoted Christian. He also loves motorcycles. I hate them, and have seen too many young people killed on them. He says ‘Mom, if it’s my time, it’s my time.’ How can I caution him and make him take me seriously? I think the Lord gives you the good sense to make good decisions.

THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER:
“Religion Q and A” usually avoids personal issues on which mere journalists have little to offer. But Barbara raises an important topic to examine: What in fact does Christianity say about protecting yourself from physical harm?

Mom certainly has a point, given National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. On a per-mile basis, U.S. motorcyclists are killed in traffic 27 times more often than those using other vehicles, and they’re 6 times more likely to suffer injuries short of death. The latest report last August said 2015 motorcycle fatalities jumped 8.3 percent from the prior year, to 4,976, with 1,365 of these involving alcohol impairment. The proportion of motorcyclists among all traffic deaths was 11 percent in 2006 and increased to 14% in 2015…. Read this in full at
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionqanda/2017/05/christianity-teach-protecting-e-g-motorcycling/

HOW TO EMBRACE CREATIVE EVANGELISM: AN INTERVIEW WITH PEYTON JONES
According to recent research, only 25% of Christians think it’s their job to share their faith. Do you struggle to tell the gospel to the neighborhoods you drive through on your way to church programs? What are the timeless principles of evangelism found in the book of Acts?

In this Q&A—in time for the International Day for the Unreached (June 4, 2017)—Peyton Jones talks about his book, Reaching the Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art (Zondervan, 2017)…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/05/how-to-embrace-creative-evangelism-an-interview-with-peyton-jones/

DISSOLVING THE DEAD: AN ALTERNATIVE TO BURIAL OR CREMATION
Most people arranging a funeral face a simple choice – burial or cremation. But a third option is now available… dissolving bodies in an alkaline solution. Its technical name is alkaline hydrolysis, but it is being marketed as “green cremation.” See the machine…. Read this in full at
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39978471

WILBERFORCE AWARD WINNER ALAN SEARS
by John Stonestreet
In 1987 Chuck Colson established the William Wilberforce Award to honor those who show courage and perseverance in the face of injustice and opposition, just like the 18th century abolitionist.

And this year the Colson Center honored someone who certainly exemplifies Wilberforce’s passion and tenacity: Alan Sears, the Founder of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Under Alan’s leadership, ADF has become the premiere legal defender of marriage, human dignity, and religious freedom-having contributed to 49 victories in the Supreme Court, and training more than 1,900 lawyers to defend liberty in 45 countries.

Sears has devoted his 23-year career to “serving God and defending His people”-whether it’s a Christian florist, an Amish small business, Christian schools, or believing medical professionals…. Read this in full at
http://breakpoint.org/2017/05/breakpoint-alan-sears-serving-god-and-protecting-his-people/

DEEP FAITH AND ROUGH RIDES – LIFE AT AN EVANGELICAL RODEO BIBLE CAMP
Located near the small western Oklahoma city of Sayre, the Camp of Champions is an evangelical Christian rodeo Bible camp for ages six to 17. The short documentary Beast of Man follows the all-boys version of the three-day event from set-up to completion, as attendees of varying levels of experience arrive with their parents, pray for their own safety, absorb fervent sermons, and learn how best to handle sitting atop a large, unruly bull – an activity in which some form of injury is nearly always unavoidable, prayers or not. Using a discreet observational style, the US directors Christopher K Walker and Michael Beach Nichols artfully synthesise themes of faith, sport, and masculinity into a subtle and thoughtful portrait that probes but doesn’t judge…. Read this in full at
https://aeon.co/videos/deep-faith-and-rough-rides-life-at-an-evangelical-rodeo-bible-camp

NEW STUDY FINDS TAX REFORM PROPOSALS WOULD DECREASE RELIGIOUS GIVING
Current tax reform proposals in Washington would decrease religious giving by an estimated 4.7%, according to new research commissioned by Independent Sector and conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Faith-based organizations would see a slightly larger decline than other organizations (-4.4%), and overall charitable giving would drop by an estimated $13 billion.

The study also found that when tax reform proposals include a “universal” charitable deduction for all taxpayers, including those who do not currently itemize on their taxes, charitable giving actually increased by an estimated $4.6 billion. In looking at panel data on giving, researchers found that households gaining itemization status gave more money across the board, but the greatest share of that increase went to religious organizations ($81) versus other charities ($45)…. Read this in full at
http://religionnews.com/2017/05/18/new-study-finds-tax-reform-proposals-would-decrease-religious-giving/

CYBERATTACKS CAN BE ‘JUST WAR,’ ACCORDING TO LEADING EXPERTS AT
RELIGION NEWS SERVICE EVENT
Cyberattacks are the next level of warfare and can be considered pre-emptive in certain circumstances, according to a leading panel of experts hosted by Religion News Service (RNS) at the National Press Club May 22.

RNS hosted a discussion on cyberattacks and the “just war theory,” which posits that war is morally justifiable if it meets a series of criteria.

“Just war asks why can you use force, when can you use it and how should it be governed,” said Bryan Hehir, Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Harvard Kennedy School. “Moral theory has changed over time, from the Roman Empire to the U.N. charter to technological change, which can mean many things. In the Middle Ages the crossbow was thought to be inhumane. The major change, though, was nuclear development. Some people argue that cyberwar is a step across another boundary. It creates another setting. How are we going to judge it? This kind of warfare is so different.” …. Read this in full at
http://religionnews.com/2017/05/23/cyberattacks-can-be-just-war-according-to-leading-experts-at-religion-news-service-event/

A RELIGIOUS REVOLUTION IS TAKING PLACE IN IRELAND
by Nick Park
It’s 5.30pm on a Sunday in central Dublin. Just off O’Connell Street, tourists in T-shirts tramp past yet another of Dublin’s fine old churches without giving it a second glance. A typical scene that seems to embody the post-Christian secularity of our capital city.

Then you step inside that old church building, and your perceptions are transformed. Every one of the dark wooden pews is crammed to capacity. The balcony is overflowing. On one side of the ornate pulpit a 50-voice choir – images being projected onto a huge screen at the front – is singing in beautiful harmonies.

Over 700 worshippers, all of them adults, are listening in rapt attention. Downstairs over 200 children are engrossed in Sunday school classes. It’s hard to remember that, just yards away, open-top buses are rumbling past….
Read this in full at
http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/a-religious-revolution-in-taking-place-in-ireland-1.3092198

NORTH KOREA: CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION AS SEVERE AS NERO’S ROME, EXPERTS SAY
Human rights activists told Capitol Hill lawmakers that Christians in North Korea are facing persecution that is likely “on par” with the level of persecution that the Early Christian Church endured under Roman emperor Nero.

The activists, convened by International Christian Concern, told lawmakers about the human rights abuses that Christians face. They also asked lawmakers to support a resolution to reauthorize the North Korean Human Act of 2004.

“Our colleagues in South Korea have thoroughly documented cases of religious persecution,” said Greg Scarlatoui, the executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/north-korea-christian-persecution-as-severe-as-nero-s-rome-expert-says.html

CONSIDER
“Having a sense of nearness to God gives me the sense of being exactly where I belong.”
– Christine Dallman

VERSE TO PONDER
You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love.
– Galatians 5:13
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A13&version=CEB;CEV;NIRV;VOICE

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: COME YE SAINTS, LOOK HERE AND WONDER
Words: Thomas Kelly, 1809
Music: John Hughes, 1907

Come, ye saints, look here and wonder
See the place where Jesus lay:
He has burst His bands asunder;
He has borne our sins away;
Joyful tidings, joyful tidings,
Yes, the Lord has ris’n today,
Yes, the Lord has ris’n today!

Jesus triumphs! sing ye praises
By His death He overcame;
Thus the Lord His glory raises,
Thus He fills His foes with shame;
Sing ye praises, sing ye praises,
Praises to the Victor’s Name,
Praises to the Victor’s Name!

Jesus triumphs! countless legions
Come from Heav’n to meet their King;
Soon, in yonder blessèd regions,
They shall join His praise to sing:
Songs eternal, songs eternal,
Shall through Heav’n’s high arches ring,
Shall through Heav’n’s high arches ring!

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/c/y/cyslhaw.htm

ON PRAYER
“We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.”
– R. A. Torrey

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

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

World’s Heaviest Weight
https://youtu.be/_k9egfWvb7Y

When Google met Alexa
https://youtu.be/jsLGe00rIsU

8 People Test Their Accents on Siri, Echo and Google Home
https://youtu.be/gNx0huL9qsQ

A Shiba Inu ponders a fidget spinner
https://youtu.be/FTFChckMTX0

2 Year Old Kid vs. 2 Year Old Dog!
https://youtu.be/uuh–n-UHQ4

An orphaned baby cow becomes BFF with a goat
https://youtu.be/3VgOgXCOwJg

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.)

Did you know there is a species of antelope capable of jumping higher than the average house? This is due to its powerful hind legs and the fact that the average house cannot jump.
Frank Coleman
Editor
rev.frank

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful 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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