CONNECTIONS NEWS – 08/06/2017

Connecting man to man to God
For week of August 6, 2017
Issue 541
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

God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the LORD sees into the heart.”
– 1 Samuel 16:7
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+16%3A7&version=CEB;CSB;NIV;AKJV

CONSIDER
“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.”
– C. S. Lewis

AUGUST ONLY: THE NIV CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS STUDY BIBLE IS AVAILABLE IN BIBLE GATEWAY PLUS
The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible is back by popular demand! During August, this highly accessible study Bible is available again in the Bible Gateway Plus library.

If you’re a Bible Gateway Plus member, you now have full access to this book as you read Scripture. (Click here for a step-by-step guide to accessing this and other Bible Gateway Plus titles.) If you’re not a Plus member, you can start a free 30-day trial, during which you’ll have full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible while it’s available during August…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/08/august-niv-cultural-backgrounds-study-bible-available-bible-gateway-plus/

CANAANITE DNA STORY MISREPORTED BY SCIENCE REPORTERS
When science headlines tendentiously try to manipulate readers to slam the Bible, well, that’s fair game.

The science story itself is fascinating and to all appearances solid. Human remains dating to some 3,700 year ago from ancient Canaanites yielded DNA revealing a startling overlap with modern-day Lebanese. The latter thus appear to harbor descendants of the long-ago population (“Continuity and Admixture in the Last Five Millennia of Levantine History from Ancient Canaanite and Present-Day Lebanese Genome Sequences,” American Journal of Human Genetics).

The Bible is detailed and unambiguous in relating that the Canaanites survived Joshua’s invasion. So it’s no wonder they have living descendants. I’m not here to pass judgment on ancient Canaanites or ancient Israelites, on the Bible, Joshua, or anyone else. But come on, reporters, where’s your elementary cultural literacy, of which knowing a thing or two about the Bible is a key element? …. Read this in full at
https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/for-culturally-illiterate-science-reporters-ancient-canaanite-dna-yields-occasion-to-slap-the-bible-around/

WAS THERE REALLY A MIRACLE AT DUNKIRK?
by Nick Pollard
In his blog post ‘How a day of prayer saved Britain at Dunkirk’ (written before the release of Christopher Nolan’s film) J.John clearly describes the perspective on the evacuation that has become known as the ‘Miracle of Dunkirk’.

Those who have read the post and now seen the film might be disappointed that this latest cinematic portrayal appears to tell a rather different story.

The film does not mention the National Day of Prayer, and only briefly refers to the halting of the German tanks, the storm that grounded the Luftwaffe and the calm sea that made the evacuation possible. Some might consider this to be another example of the elimination of God as an actor from history and politics. But that would be to miss the opportunity to reassess the perspective of the ‘Miracle of Dunkirk’, to reflect upon the nature of miracles and prayer, and to benefit from what Christopher Nolan’s film offers to this generation…. Read this in full at
https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Was-there-really-a-miracle-at-Dunkirk

ENCOURAGEMENT TO MEN TO STUDY THE BIBLE AND THEOLOGY, AND FIND GREAT HAPPINESS
by Randy Alcorn
Many Christian men would agree that they’re experts in business, hunting, fishing, football, or cars. Sadly, however, even those who attend Bible-teaching churches may know very little about the Bible and theology. (Everything I talk about in this blog pertains to women also, but I know more women than men who study God’s Word, and I believe men are missing out on joy and happiness as a result.)

Why? It’s simple. Every week, men invest hours watching sports and listening to radio talk shows. They visit car dealerships, read car repair manuals, and spend extended time under the hood. They go fishing or hunting. None of these activities is sinful, but any and all can dominate our spare time and the thoughts that occupy our minds. We’re all experts in what we do and think about, and novices in everything else…. Read this in full at
http://www.epm.org/blog/2017/Aug/2/men-happiness-bible

HOPE IN DISAPPOINTING MARRIAGES
by Gary Thomas
Marriage blogs like mine try to help couples improve their marriages, but what if your spouse has just lost interest or isn’t willing to do the work necessary? What do you do then? What I’m about to share with you won’t solve the problem, but it may help you handle the ongoing hurt a little bit better. There’s actually even something to be gained, but that’s not to suggest you’d ever willingly walk this path. If advice isn’t “curing” your marriage, here, at least, is a bit of balm for your soul, culled from the rich insights of an ancient Christian classic, The Imitation of Christ. Read about it here! …. Read this in full at
http://www.garythomas.com/hope-in-disappointing-marriages/

WHAT WORDS WOULD YOU WANT INSCRIBED ON YOUR TOMBSTONE?
by Paul Louis Metzger
What words would you want inscribed on your tombstone?

As you ponder your answer, consider these words on William Borden’s tombstone in Cairo, Egypt. Borden (1887-1913) was an heir to the Borden dynasty, a graduate of Yale and Princeton, and a zealous and outstanding Christian who dedicated his life at a young age to serve Christ as a missionary among Chinese Muslims. He prepared for his missionary sojourn to China by studying Arabic and working among Muslims in Egypt. Only three months into his preparations, he contracted spinal meningitis. He died nineteen days later. In addition to the Great Commission scripture of Mark 16:15 as well as his life verse Psalm 119:11, the following lines were added when his grave was restored: “No reserve, no retreats, no regrets.” It was reported that Borden had written these lines in one of the margins of his Bible…. Read this in full at
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/07/words-want-inscribed-tombstone/

THE FREEDOM AND CHAOS OF SOLA SCRIPTURA
It’s been a hallmark of Protestantism for 500 years, but what do we mean when we base our faith on “the Bible alone”? Is it even possible to read the Bible without being influenced by the social and theological contexts in which one is immersed? Hasn’t this doctrine, more than any other Reformation doctrine, been responsible for the fragmentation of the church?

To help unravel such questions, CT editor in chief Mark Galli interviewed a scholar who has given much thought to the place of Scripture in the church’s life: Mark Noll, recently retired from the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of In the Beginning Was the Word: The Bible in American Public Life, 1492-1783, as well as an essay in Protestantism After 500 Years entitled, “Chaotic Coherence: Sola Scriptura and the Twentieth-Century Spread of Christianity.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/june/freedom-and-chaos-of-sola-scriptura.html

THE COMPLETE TOPICAL GUIDE TO THE BIBLE: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARTIN H. MANSER
Studying the Bible lies at the heart of the Christian faith. One approach is the exploration of the central topics of Scripture—such as the Trinity, humanity, sin, and salvation—that unfold the unity and richness of the Bible.

Bible Gateway interviewed Bible reference editor Martin H. Manser, who, along with Alister McGrath, J. I. Packer, and Donald Wiseman, edited The Complete Topical Guide to the Bible (Baker Books, 2017)…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/08/the-complete-topical-guide-to-the-bible-an-interview-with-martin-h-manser/

JUST SAY NO!
by Erik Raymond
What does self-denial have to do with my contentment? Below is an excerpt from my book, Chasing Contentment (pp. 107-110), where I work out some practical considerations of a life ordered by Jesus’s requirement that all who follow him deny themselves (Lk. 9:23). As you’ll see, self-denial is essential for learning contentment.

Remember What Self-Indulgence Brings

Imagine yourself back in the garden. You are standing there with Adam, near enough to Eve to hear the Serpent’s crafty temptation. Knowing what you know now about sin and its effects, what would you say? You would rush into the scene and shout, “No! Don’t do it! It’s a trap! Deny yourself!” …. Read this in full at
http://ftc.co/resource-library/blog-entries/just-say-no

FOUR DOs AND DON’Ts WHEN INTRODUCING JESUS TO NON-CHRISTIANS
by Clare De Graaf
Here are some common ideas non-Christians express about what they think of Christians who try to evangelize them:

1. Don’t try to force your morality on me.
Ironically, Paul says the same thing; “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” 1 Corinthians 5:12,13a

Many of the non-Christians I know are kind, generous, and have a moral system that make sense to them. We have a moral system based on our confidence in the Bible and love for God, neither-of-which non-Christians have. Why would a non-Christian give up sex before marriage, for instance, just because we tell them it’s a sin?

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

When meeting with non-Christians, I never talk about their sinful behaviors. But I do talk about the sin nature in every person. Every non-Christian knows they do things that violate even their own moral code. I explain why that is, and what Christ did to address this problem in all of us. I’m not into behavior modification or sin management. Without Christ, their sinful habits are the least of their concern…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2017/07/31/introducing-jesus-to-non-christians/

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY WAS JEWISH?
by Jeremy Bouma
You’ve probably seen artistic renderings of Jesus with flowing golden or bronze hair. Maybe you’ve watched a movie or two with an Anglo-Saxon cast as the Son of God—complete with a perfectly posh British accent.

Sorry to break it to you, but this isn’t the Jesus of the Bible. Instead, it’s a Jesus straight out of Norway!

While this might seem obvious on reflection, we often seem to forget that Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t of European descent. Perhaps that’s because many people associate Christianity with Europe and the West. But when we forget that the Jesus of the Bible was a Jew, living in first-century Palestine in what we now call the Middle East, we miss something crucial about the story of God’s Messiah.

As a Jew, Jesus would have worshipped in the synagogue. He would have read and memorized the Torah. And he would have regularly recited the Shema: …. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/08/did-you-know-that-the-founder-of-christianity-was-jewish/

MY IDENTITY CRISIS
by Stephen McAlpine
Two weeks ago I had an identity crisis. It lasted for a week and it all happened while we were on holidays in Sydney. For the entire week I found myself passing people in the street, being served in shops, eating meals in restaurants and sitting on the train, all the time wondering if everyone thought that I was someone other than I was.

I started to take my cues from everyone else as to who I might be. It was weird.

Now I have to explain something at this point. I have an identical twin brother. This is a picture of he and me earlier this year, when he arrived at Sydney airport to pick me up from a flight from Perth…. Read this in full at
https://stephenmcalpine.com/2017/07/26/my-identity-crisis/

WHEN THE ONE YOU LOVE IS WAYWARD
by Dave Harvey & Paul Gilbert
When people talk about love, they tend to think about feelings of attraction-that joy and excitement of being with someone who makes you feel alive. Yet most of us know this attraction is just scratching the surface. Real love is something deep and powerful, a committed faithfulness that is sacrificial and loyal. Love is keeping your promises, even when it hurts. It’s patient and kind, gracious and forgiving, and willing to speak the truth even when doing so is costly (1 Cor. 13:4-7). We know this love is tough.

For the most part, tough love gets us through the tough times. Every relationship experiences struggle. Yet when two people are committed, reasonable, and willing to work things out, love finds a way through it all.

Loving a prodigal is even tougher.

It’s loving a rebel, someone who isn’t trying to work it out and who doesn’t have your interests in mind. It’s loving someone who’s enamored with sin and who doesn’t care about the consequences-or the pain and hurt it causes others. The wayward often see themselves as the victims, and they’re hell-bent on finding their freedom on their terms…. Read this in full at
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/when-the-one-you-love-is-wayward

ARE YOU A SPECTATOR ON SUNDAY MORNING?
by Michael Wittmer
Modern worship is becoming a spectator sport. Pious evangelicals stand mute before the overwhelming volume of the praise band – a loud sound they cannot compete with or contribute to – and gape in amazement as this priestly class of talented musicians soars for impossibly high and sustained notes. The worship is typically ebullient, and also far beyond the reach of the ordinary person. Many don’t even try.

Pastors, look around during worship this weekend. How many of God’s children are singing? How many simply stand there, watching the professional performance on the platform? …. Read this in full at
http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/are-you-a-spectator-on-sunday-morning

REMEMBER FAILING AND GRACE
It has been thought by some that as long as Peter lived, the fountain of his tears began to flow whenever he remembered that he had denied his Lord. It is not unlikely that it was so (for his sin was very great, and grace in him had afterwards a perfect work). This same experience is common to all the redeemed family according to the degree in which the Spirit of God has removed the natural heart of stone.

We, like Peter, remember our boastful promise: “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”1 We eat our own words with the bitter herbs of repentance. When we think of what we vowed we would be and of what we have been, we may weep whole showers of grief. He remembered denying his Lord-the place in which he did it, the little cause that led him into such heinous sin, the oaths and blasphemies with which he sought to confirm his falsehood, and the dreadful hardness of heart that drove him to do so again and yet again. Can we, when we are reminded of our sins and their exceeding sinfulness, remain stolid and stubborn? Will we not make our house a place of sacrifice and cry to the Lord for renewed assurances of pardoning love? …. Read this in full at
https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/daily-devotionals/7/30/2017/

VERSE TO PONDER
You must be doers of the word and not only hearers who mislead themselves.
– James 1:22
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1%3A22&version=CEB;ESV;ERV;NET

CONSIDER
“Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the window which hope has opened.”
– Charles H. Spurgeon

MEN OF THE BIBLE: NEHEMIAH
His name means: “God Is Consolation”

His work: Nehemiah was a Jew living in Babylon. He and his people had been defeated by the Assyrians and taken as slaves to a foreign land. The Persians had conquered the Assyrians and were now in power. Nehemiah served Artaxerxes, the king of Persia, as his personal adviser and escort, or cupbearer. Surrounded by the opulence of a palace, Nehemiah had an eye for building and construction.

His character: Nehemiah was a tenderhearted man who loved God’s people. He honored the living God and was also a man of courage and vision. His Sorrow: Living as an exile deeply troubled Nehemiah. He longed for “home” even though he had never lived there…. Read this in full at
http://contentz.mkt4731.com/mson/2017/08/03/gVk3tSQ3YEoa/index.html

WHAT YOU SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT DO WITH YOUR NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
by Peter Scazzero
In some Christian circles, repressing or disavowing authentic emotions is considered a virtue or perhaps even a gift of Spirit. Denying anger, ignoring pain, skipping over depression, running from loneliness, and avoiding doubt are not only considered normal but actually virtuous ways of living out one’s spiritual life.

But this is not the model we find in Jesus, who freely expressed his emotions without shame or embarrassment:…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/08/what-you-should-and-should-not-do-with-your-negative-emotions/

WHEN ETERNITY HOLDS ITS BREATH
by Lee Strobel
It was a hectic day at the newspaper where I worked as an editor. Several major stories erupted before deadline. Reporters were scurrying around as they frantically tried to finish their articles. With emotions frayed, just about everyone lost their tempers.

On many days, the stress of journalism caused me to lose my composure too. But as a fairly new Christian, I asked God for his help as soon as the day looked like it was going to spiral out of control. Thanks to him, I managed to stay uncharacteristically calm amidst the chaos.
http://contentz.mkt4731.com/mson/2017/08/04/idgpwcapv2BX/index.html

CLOSINGS
by Martin E. Marty
Sooner or later, every thing on earth will close and will not reopen. One does not need scriptural reminders of this; we just do our sighting and have evidence. Having read much about “decline” in religion—hereabouts, not always globally—evidences abound. What prompts this choice of topic this week was the combination of two headlines in The New York Times last Thursday. One was “An Ode to Shopping Malls” by Steven Kurutz, and the other was “Country Stores Look for Someone to Hand the Keys To” by Julie Turkewitz. The first story is about a film series which chronicles how malls, “pleasure palaces of days past,” are reaching their end as “a way of life”; the second, about the slow disappearance of small-town hubs.

Both seem to deal with secular, not religious, subjects. But churches and cultures or societies are so intertwined that their stories overlap and get fused. The religious world is very much a subject or victim of change in its many forms and locations…. Read this in full at
http://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/closings

IN FLORIDA, GOING TO CHURCH WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR CAR
by Lauren DeFilippo
I found myself back living in Florida not long ago and wanting to make a film that took on that idiosyncrasy. Driving from my parents’ house on the A1A highway along the east coast, I stumbled upon the Daytona Beach Drive-In Christian Church. At first the idea of sitting in a car to go to church seemed deranged to me. What could be more vacant of spirituality and human connection than going to church sealed off in the most alienating of American inventions, your car?

I decided I had to go to a service. I was surprised to learn this wasn’t some kind of fly-by-night operation – the church has been offering services from the convenience of your car since 1953. As I spent more time with the members of the congregation, my thinking about the bizarre place started to slowly shift. I realized that many of them had very personal motivations for attending a church like this. Some were debilitated by illness and found the easy accessibility of the space a plus. Others had lost a loved one and wanted privacy as they mourned. A few more just wanted to attend service with their pets. Whatever their reason, they were all seeking some form of comfort and strength in one shape or another…. Read this in full at
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/drive-in-church-florida.html

SURVIVING CANCER AND THRIVING: AN INTERVIEW WITH EDIE LITTLEFIELD SUNDBY
This former IBM executive is the first person in 250 years to walk the entire 1,600-mile El Camino Real Mission Trail from Loreto, Mexico to Sonoma, California. And that’s not the most interesting thing about her. Ten years ago she was given three months to live after a Stage 4 gallbladder cancer diagnosis. Against all odds, she survived 79 rounds of chemotherapy and radical liver and lung surgeries, losing 60% of her liver, and her right lung.

Bible Gateway interviewed Edie Littlefield Sundby about her book, The Mission Walker: I was given three months to live… (W Publishing, 2017)…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/08/surviving-cancer-and-thriving-an-interview-with-edie-littlefield-sundby/

KANSAS GOV. SAM BROWNBACK NOMINATED AS AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE FOR INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Kansas governor Sam Brownback has been be nominated to serve as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom — a position he helped to create. Gov. Brownback previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1995-96) and as US Senator (1996-2011) before being elected as governor of Kansas in 2010…. Read this in full at
http://erlc.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/r/6E61B25F172CCB8B2540EF23F30FEDED/A8455302FF9D3110D8E2A916412CAE5B

PRAYER
Both Jesus (Luke 18:1) and Paul (1 Tim. 2:1) emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God.

By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23). When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father—beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name (Matthew 6:9–15; John 14:14).
http://www.bibleconnectionnews.com/prayer/

CONSIDER
“The most powerful life is the most simple life. The most powerful life is the life that knows where it’s going, that knows where the source of strength is; it is the life that stays free of clutter and happenstance and hurriedness.”
– Max Lucado

VERSE TO PONDER
But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God’s children, born not from blood nor from human desire or passion, but born from God.
– John 1:12-13
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1%3A12-13&version=CEB;GNT;ISV;TLB

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: JOY! BECAUSE THE CIRCLING YEAR
Words: Author unknown; translated from Latin to English by John Ellerton, 1871
Music: John B. Dykes, 1874

Joy! because the circling year
Brings our day of blessings here;
Day when first the light divine
On the Church began to shine.

Like to quivering tongues of flame
Unto each the Spirit came,
Tongues, that earth might hear their call,
Fire, that love might burn in all.

So the wondrous works of God
Wondrously were spread abroad;
Every tribe’s familiar tone
Made the glorious marvel known.

Hardened scoffers vainly jeered;
Listening strangers heard and feared,
Knew the prophets’ word fulfilled,
Owned the work which God had willed.

Still Thy Spirit’s fullness, Lord,
On Thy waiting Church be poured;
Grant our burdened hearts release;
Grant us Thine abiding peace.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/j/o/joybeccy.htm

ON PRAYER
“I live in the spirit of prayer; I pray as I walk, when I lie down, and when I rise. And, the answers are always coming.”
– George Mueller

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.
Primitive Technology: Making Sandals
https://youtu.be/i-WYT2UotIc

Snoring Hummingbird
https://youtu.be/_uEfmQt34Nc

An alarm clock stuck in a wall has gone off every night for 13 years
http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/20/us/alarm-clock-stuck-in-wall-trnd/index.html

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.)

Frank Coleman
Editor
rev.frank@gmail.com

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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