CONNECTIONS NEWS – 06-04-2017

Connecting man to man to God
For week of June 4, 2017
Issue 537
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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Whenever I’m afraid, I put my trust in you—in God, whose word I praise. I trust in God; I won’t be afraid. What can mere flesh do to me? Psalm 56:3-4
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+56%3A3-4&version=CEB;NIV;CSB;NLT

CONSIDER
“The more selective you are about seeds, the more delighted you will be with the crop.”
-Max Lucado

WHAT IS PENTECOST?
by Jason Byassee
Pentecost is the birthday of the church. That’s why we’re having the festivities we’re having today – one service all together, with bits of our usual three mixed, and a party after.

Some of my favorite moments as a pastor come when I introduce one of y’all to someone else. I’ll see you around town and say, “So-and-so, meet so-and-so; you’re church members together, parts of the same body.” Whether we know one another by name or not, we belong to one another, like ankles to legs, knuckles to hands. Pentecost is the reason why.

But what is Pentecost? Christmas is clear enough: God gets born. Easter, too: Jesus rises from the dead. There’s a reason marketers do well with those two holy days. Imagine trying to hold a Pentecost sale or to buy and send a Pentecost card. Pentecost is the day the Holy Spirit is poured out on the church. The Spirit is like a hurricane, “a violent wind,” Scripture says…. Read this in full at
https://www.faithandleadership.com/jason-byassee-what-pentecost

VIDEO: DAY OF PENTECOST MEDITATION ON ACTS 2
When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them…. Watch this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/06/video-day-of-pentecost-meditation-on-acts-2/

DAY OF PENTECOST: WHEN THE CHURCH WAS BORN
by Derl G. Keefer
All of God’s working in the hearts and lives of humanity was about to culminate on this exciting, empowering and experiential day, Pentecost!

The Holy Spirit always had been present and working in the world from Genesis 1:2 until Jesus’ nativity. Christ and the Spirit were intertwined. The Holy Spirit has been called “Christ’s other Self.” As the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit has had a relationship with humans by giving them power, love, life, hope, boldness, morality and holiness. It was on the Day of Pentecost that He imparted to the followers of Christ all of these qualities in a personal, collective and universal way by birthing the church…. Read this in full at
https://www.preaching.com/common-lectionary/day-of-pentecost-when-the-church-was-born/

WELCOMING THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: AN INTERVIEW WITH SAM STORMS
The Bible teaches we’re to be filled with the Holy Spirit and that God’s presence and grace is manifested among his people as they serve, love, and minister to one another. Yet why do gifts of prophecy, healing, tongues, and other supernatural gifts of God seem to be inconsistently demonstrated?

Bible Gateway interviewed Sam Storms about his book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan, 2017)…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/05/welcoming-the-gifts-of-the-holy-spirit-an-interview-with-sam-storms/

FACEBOOK LIVE EVENT JUNE 4
A group championing the cause of missions to those who have still to hear the gospel is hoping its virtual “Upper Room” gathering June 4, Pentecost Sunday, will help ignite a new fire among Christians to take the gospel to the two billion people in the world who not yet been told the good news of Jesus Christ.

Day for the Unreached will center on a global “Facebook LIVE for the Unreached!” event at 7 p.m. EDT that day, challenging churches and individuals to a greater commitment to world evangelization.

The event will be hosted at www.facebook.com/dayfortheunreached and feature a message by David Platt, president of IMB, the international missions board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and author of the best-selling book, Radical…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/9683179627.html

5 RATIONAL ARGUMENTS WHY GOD (VERY PROBABLY) EXISTS
by Robert H. Nelson
The question of whether a God exists is heating up in the 21st century. According to a Pew survey, the percentage of Americans having no religious affiliation reached 23% in 2014. Among such “nones,” 33% said that they do not believe in God – an 11% increase since only 2007. The Conversation

Such trends have ironically been taking place even as the rational probabilities for the existence of a supernatural God have been rising. In my 2015 book, “God? Very Probably,” I explore five rational reasons why it is very probable that such a God exists…. Read this in full at
http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2017/05/11/five_rational_arguments_why_god_very_probably_exists_110139.html

THE BIBLICAL HEART OF MEDIEVAL FAITH
by Beth Allison Barr
Several months ago I heard a catchy phrase preached in a sermon. But it wasn’t until recently, when I began to compare popular medieval bible verses with popular modern bible verses (thanks Bible Gateway!), that I began to think about the phrase more critically.

So what is the phrase? “Information does not equal transformation.”

Not especially earth shattering…

Well, just give me a few minutes…. Read this in full at
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2017/05/lysa-terkeurst-and-bible-gateway-and-top-ten-medieval-bible-verses/

DESCARTES AND THE ANATOMY OF DOUBT
from R.C. Sproul
“The Holy Spirit is not a skeptic.” So Luther rebuked Erasmus of Rotterdam for his expressed disdain for making sure assertions. Luther roared, “The making of assertions is the very mark of the Christian. Take away assertions and you take away Christianity. Away now, with the skeptics!”

Doubt is the hallmark of the skeptic. The skeptic dares to doubt the indubitable. Even demonstrable proof fails to persuade him. The skeptic dwells on Mt. Olympus, far aloof from the struggles of mortals who care to pursue truth.

But doubt has other faces. It is the assailant of the faithful striking fear into the hearts of the hopeful. Like Edith Bunker, doubt nags the soul. It asks “Are you sure?” Then, “Are you sure you’re sure?” …. Read this in full at
http://www.ligonier.org/blog/descartes-and-anatomy-doubt/

LOVE & GRACE – EXPRESSIONS OF GOD’S GOODNESS
The God of biblical revelation is no impersonal absolute. The living God is the God of love and grace. But what do such terms mean? It is in Scripture that big terms such as “love” and “grace” are embodied in stories as well as in direct affirmations. In particular it is Jesus Christ and his story that provides the lens through which to view what the big biblical ideas are about.

What does divine love look like? …. Read this in full at
http://www.bibleconnectionnews.com/love-grace-expressions-of-gods-goodness/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=enews2-2017a

20 IDEAS FOR DATING YOUR WIFE
by Justin Buzzard
Men, you need to come up with your own ideas for how to date your wife. You know your wife better than anyone else. Only you know how to best care for the woman God has given you. But, sometimes it helps to build off other people’s ideas in order to form your own. Look these ideas over.

Act on some of them this month, and let these ideas spur your own creativity for how to help your wife and your marriage flourish. Just as God has put a lot of love and thought into his pursuit of you, we husbands want to put a lot of love and thought into how we pursue our wives…. Read this in full at
https://www.crossway.org/articles/20-ideas-for-dating-your-wife/

GENDER FLUIDITY
by Clare De Graaf
As a parent or grandparent it would be a serious mistake to dismiss the importance of gender fluidity to your children or grandchildren!

So what is gender fluidity? It is the relatively new idea to the public, to describe the phenomena in some people whose mental sexuality is not fixed, but it can change from “feeling” male or female, from year to year, or even as reported by others, from day to day. They obviously don’t change physically from male to female, but they find themselves mentally and emotionally changing along the sexual spectrum.

Until even five or six years old, most psychologists understood this was a very small segment of the population – transgender and bi-sexual people are two examples of this. However, in the last few years, with the rise of pop culture it’s become cool to be gender fluid. Miley Cyrus, recently said, “I don’t relate to being either a boy or a girl. It has nothing to do with my body parts or who I’m attracted to. It’s literally just how I feel.” Almost every week a new celebrity is coming out as asexual, transgender, bisexual, etc., or as gender fluid…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2017/05/29/gender-fluidity/

HOLLYWOOD VS. THE BIBLE
By Kevin Payne
Since at least the 1970’s, Hollywood’s treatment of Christians has been only slightly more benevolent than al-Qaeda’s attitude toward Jews. Gone are the kindly Barry Fitzgerald priest, the wise rabbi and the steadfast minister. In their place is a rogue’s gallery of lusting priests, sadistic nuns, perverted pastors and con-men TV evangelists, not to mention ordinary Christians (Catholic or evangelical) who are depicted as superstitious nitwits, malevolent hypocrites, or both.

To be fair, Hollywood has and still does, release biblical-themed films. The Ten Commandments, the 1956 version starring Charlton Heston as Moses and Mel Gibson’s 2004, The Passion of the Christ. For many average Christians, it is not so much the of the number of biblically based films that Hollywood releases each year as it is the historical accuracy of the films that concerns most Christian adults…. Read this in full at
https://www.logospost.com/home/2017/5/30/hollywood-vs-the-bible

THE CHRISTIAN-CULTURAL COMPLEX
by Phil Mobley
The 1990s were halcyon days for evangelicalism. An entire genre of music emerged from infancy, its artists selling millions of records to Christian youth while also performing at amusement parks and occasionally even crossing over to “mainstream” radio stations. Christian bookstores popped up in many towns, and Christian television channels became part of basic cable packages. Across the fruited plain, megachurches broadcast their Sunday services and embarked on building campaigns, further raising their visibility. The church was right at home in American culture…. Read this in full at
http://byfaithonline.com/the-christian-cultural-complex/

VERSE TO PONDER
But the LORD’s faithful love is from forever ago to forever from now for those who honor him. And God’s righteousness reaches to the grandchildren of those who keep his covenant and remember to keep his commands.
– Psalm 103:17-18
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+103%3A17-18&version=CEB;KJV;NET;NIRV

CONSIDER
“Our safety lies in God and not in our feeling safe.”
– Hubert van Zeller

HOW DO I FOLLOW BIG SECTIONS OF SCRIPTURE?
by John Piper
Think of a larger unit of Scripture, like a chapter or a few paragraphs or maybe several chapters; think of it as a jigsaw puzzle, a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle. For me, this is just like the way I go about it. There are 500 pieces laid in front of you, and as you look at them, they do not look at all like the painting on the front of the box. They are just one big jumble. That’s how the words and phrases and clauses might look to you in a chapter in the Bible when you try to think of the chapter as a whole. There are just lots and lots of words and phrases and clauses that might say some nice things, but my, oh my, they don’t make one big picture…. Read this in full at
http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/how-do-i-follow-big-sections-of-scripture

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS RECORD BREAKING, NUGGET WINNING US TEENAGER?
by Tim Bechervaise
You don’t ask you don’t get, right?

It’s perhaps what went through the mind of US teenager Carter Wilkerson on 5 April when he tweeted fast-food chain Wendy’s asking how many retweets he would need to earn a year’s free supply of chicken nuggets. Within a minute Wendy’s had replied. “18 million,” they offered, to which Carter responded, “Consider it done.”

He hasn’t, has he?

Well, not quite, but the 16-year-old is well on his way, so much so that his tweet asking for support has been retweeted over 3.5 million times. On Tuesday (9 May) it became the most retweeted tweet ever, beating the previous record set by Ellen DeGeneres in 2014 for her selfie at the Oscars (3.4 million retweets). Amongst those sharing the nugget love were Apple Music, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Twitter, plus a bunch of celebrities. United Airlines have even offered to fly Carter to any Wendy’s in the world where they fly to, should he reach the 18 million target. The episode also explains why you may have seen #NuggsforCarter doing the rounds on your Twitter feed…. Read this in full at
https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/What-can-we-learn-from-this-record-breaking-nugget-winning-US-teenager

MOTHER OF FALLEN MARINE HANDS OUT A BIBLE FOR EVERY DAY OF SON’S LIFE
The mother of a Marine who died in combat more than five years ago has handed out more than 11,000 personally inscribed Bibles, each marking a day of her son’s life…. Read this in full at
http://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Mother-of-fallen-Marine-hands-out-a-Bible-for-every-day-of-sons-life-425171964.html

JOURNAL: ASSISTED SUICIDE ABOUT ‘AUTONOMY,’ NOT PAIN
by David Roach
A report on physician-assisted suicide in Canada appears to support claims by opponents of the practice that it is driven by a desire for personal autonomy rather than pain management.

A study published May 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found 95% of patients to receive medical aid in dying (MAiD) through Toronto’s University Health Network between March 2016 and March 2017 cited “loss of autonomy” as a reason for the request to end their lives. No other reason was cited as frequently. The article’s seven coauthors wrote that “few patients cited inadequate control of pain or other symptoms.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/48949/journal–assisted-suicide-about-autonomy-not-pain

LOVING OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS DURING RAMADAN
Around the world, millions of Muslims are observing Ramadan—a period during which faithful Muslims fast, pray, and reflect on their moral responsibilities as followers of Islam.

Christians, of course, do not observe Ramadan. So why should Christians spend time thinking about a Muslim holy season? …. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2016/06/loving-muslim-neighbors-during-ramadan/

FROM BABY MICE TO DESIGNER HUMANS?
by Kiley Crossland/WORLD
Scientists in Japan are growing mice from skin cells.

A team of researchers at Kyushu University last year converted tail cells from adult female mice into viable eggs, and then inseminated those eggs to produce embryos. They implanted the embryos in female mice who gave birth to healthy baby mice.

The process, called in vitro gametogenesis (IVG), is a big leap from today’s in vitro fertilization (IVF). With IVG, doctors can artificially create eggs and sperm by coaxing cells from other parts of the body into stem cells, and then into eggs and sperm.

Researchers say it is only a matter of time before they can use the process for human reproduction…. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/48945/from-baby-mice-to-designer-humans

5 FACTS ABOUT CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION FROM THE 2017 INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REPORT
The State Department recently released its International Religious Freedom Report for 2017. A wide range of US government agencies and offices use the reports for such efforts as shaping policy and conducting diplomacy. The Secretary of State also uses the reports to help determine which countries have engaged in or tolerated “particularly severe violations” of religious freedom in order to designate “countries of particular concern.” …. Read this in full at
http://erlc.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/r/23FDBF950BF088A52540EF23F30FEDED/A8455302FF9D3110D8E2A916412CAE5B

POPE: MORE CHRISTIAN MARTYRS TODAY THAN IN ANCIENT TIMES
Pope Francis prayed May 27 for the Coptic Christians killed a day earlier in Egypt by Islamic extremists, saying that there are more Christian martyrs today than in ancient times.

During a meeting with clergy in the Italian port city of Genoa, Francis urged them to pray “for our brothers the Egyptian Copts, who were killed because they did not want to renounce their faith.” …. Read this in full at
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/05/27/pope-more-christian-martyrs-today-than-ancient-times/102232868/

PERSECUTION IN THE EARLY CHURCH: DID YOU KNOW?
by Everett Ferguson
Early Christians expected suffering. Christ had died on the cross, so there was no higher honor than to imitate that death through accepting martyrdom (witness by one’s blood). The Jewish legacy portrayed, in writings such as the Fourth Book of the Maccabees, the glorious nature of death rather than renunciation of Israel; even without this, Christianity would inevitably have held the martyr’s death in high esteem. As the writer of 1 Peter expressed it, “If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” (4:16).

How was it that the church underwent such sacrifices? The Roman religion was not intolerant; Rome had accepted into its pantheon deities from the Italian tribes and from Asia Minor. In the provinces, the great territorial gods—such as Saturn in North Africa and Jehovah among the Jews—were accepted as “legal religion” on the grounds that their rites, even if barbarous, were sanctified by ancient tradition. Countless local gods and goddesses, worshiped by the ordinary inhabitants of the Greco-Roman world, were often provided with a classical equivalent name and worshiped as “Roman” deities…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-27/persecution-in-early-church-did-you-know.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS IN EUROPE MORE LIKELY TO BELIEVE THAN PRACTICE THEIR RELIGION
Russia and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe have experienced a resurgence of Orthodox Christian identity since the fall of the Soviet Union, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 18 countries in the region. This increase in religious identity is accompanied in large part by high levels of religious belief, such as belief in God…. Read this in full at
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/30/orthodox-christians-in-europe-more-likely-to-believe-than-practice-their-religion/

CONSIDER
“He who forgives ends the quarrel.”
– African proverb

VERSE TO PONDER
But nothing, not even my life, is more important than my completing my mission. This is nothing other than the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus: to testify about the good news of God’s grace.
– Acts 20:24
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+20%3A24&version=CEB;AMP;CEV;MSG

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: BREATHE UPON US
Words & Music: R. Kelso Carter, 1891

Breathe upon us, Lord, from Heaven,
Fill us with the Holy Ghost;
Promise of the Father given,
Send us now a Pentecost.

Refrain
Breathe upon us, breathe upon us,
With Thy love our hearts inspire.
Breathe upon us, breathe upon us,
Lord, baptize us now with fire.

While the Spirit hovers o’er us,
Open all our hearts, we pray;
To Thine image, Lord, restore us,
Witness in our souls today.
Refrain

Lift us, Lord, O lift us higher,
From the carnal mind set free;
Fill us with refining fire,
Give us perfect liberty.
Refrain

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/b/r/bruponus.htm

ON PRAYER
“We are silent at the beginning of the day because God should have the first word, and we are silent before going to sleep because the last word also belongs to God.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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

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Sign at animal park: Please care for the animals. Do not set, stand, climb, or lean on fence. If you fall, animals may eat you and that might make them sick.
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.
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