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CONNECTIONS NEWS – 11/19/2017

Connecting man to man to God
For week of November 19, 2017
Issue 547
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

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
– Colossians 3:15
https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Colossians%203:15

CONSIDER
“Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.”
– Henri Nouwen

THE BIBLE VERSES THAT WERE TO BE READ BEFORE TEXAS CHURCH SHOOTING
The memorial inside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas—where 26 people were murdered by a gunman during a worship service on November 5, 2017—includes a Bible at the foot of a wooden cross, open to Psalm 149 and Psalm 150 as well as the first three chapters of Proverbs.

Displayed on the front wall behind the cross is the text of Psalm 100 (HCSB), which was going to be read when the shooting began but was never heard…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/the-bible-verses-that-were-to-be-read-before-texas-church-shooting/

HOW CHURCHES ARE PREPARING FOR A MASS SHOOTING
It was the weekend after the deadliest church shooting in American history, after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urged viewers on Fox News, “We need people in church — professional security or at least arming some of the parishioners or congregation — so they can respond when something like this happens again.”

As church leaders across the country considered how to respond — to comfort their congregations but also to make them feel safe — nearly 80 people from churches across Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois gathered at Prairie Baptist for the training presented by Strategos, the largest church security training ministry in the world, according to Barry Young, vice president of church security ministries at Grandview, Mo.-based Strategos International…. Read this in full at
http://religionnews.com/2017/11/14/could-it-happen-here-how-one-church-is-preparing-for-a-mass-shooting/

HOW HAS THE BIBLE SHAPED OUR WORLD?: 1:1 WITH STEVE GREEN
Why is the Bible the bestselling book of all time? Why does it ignite religious debate, social upheaval, and political controversy? How could one ancient book have so much power through the centuries?

Bible Gateway interviewed Steve Green, who, along with his wife Jackie, wrote, This Dangerous Book: How the Bible Has Shaped Our World and Why It Still Matters Today (Zondervan, 2017).

Q: Explain what the title means.

Steve Green: The title of the book reflects our view of the Bible: it’s a dangerous book. What we mean by that is that throughout history, we’ve seen those who have rightly applied the principles of the Bible, and we’ve seen revolutionary results. People who follow the principles of the Bible — even unknowingly — tend to have a dramatic impact on their world. For instance, no one would argue that it’s a bad idea “to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). On the other hand, those who don’t follow it’s principles or misuse the principles of the Bible for their own purposes can have equally devastating impact. For instance, Jim Jones led a mass suicide of the People’s Temple with his aberrant teachings…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/how-has-the-bible-shaped-our-world-an-interview-with-steve-green/

IN THE CAPITOL’S SHADOW, MASSIVE MUSEUM OF THE BIBLE READIES FOR OPENING
In the new Museum of the Bible is a room full of Bibles, color-coded to show the more than 2,000 languages into which the holy book has been at least partially translated — and the similar number for which translation has “not yet begun.”

That exhibit is just one example of how the 430,000-square-foot building with a view of the US Capitol is meant to fascinate, educate and — depending on your perspective — evangelize.

“You could certainly interpret it that way,” said Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers of the language-related exhibit in an interview shortly before the museum’s Nov. 17 opening…. Read this in full at
http://religionnews.com/2017/11/13/in-the-capitols-shadow-massive-museum-of-the-bible-readies-for-opening/

THE PURPOSE OF THANKSGIVING
by Jay Milbrandt
Every November we come together to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. Our national holiday appears to revolve around food, football, and, of course, the arrival of shopping season. Thanksgiving, sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, has been hijacked. Thanksgiving has not simply lost its meaning, but it’s been so far removed from its original purpose that most Americans have no connection to its beginnings.

Despite what we’ve been led to believe with American mythology, there was no “First Thanksgiving.” “Thanksgiving,” as we know it, was created 200 years after the Pilgrims by Abraham Lincoln to act as a unifying national event at the close of the Civil War. This notion did draw upon the spirit of two Pilgrim events. First, a “harvest festival” to celebrate the Pilgrims’ initial crop of food after they survived the first winter on rations. Second, a “day of thanksgiving” to honor God for bringing miraculous, field-saving summer rains the following year. Neither event became an annual Pilgrim occurrence, nor did either take place in late November…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/the-purpose-of-thanksgiving/

7-DAY BIBLE READING PLAN: THANKSGIVING
Use this 7-day Bible reading plan to help you focus on thanksgiving and the attitude of being grateful in all circumstances…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/7-day-bible-reading-plan-thanksgiving/

33% OF PROTESTANT CHURCHGOERS DON’T KNOW BILLY GRAHAM’S MINISTRY
In the fall of 1949, a little-known Baptist preacher launched a series of revival meetings at a “canvas cathedral” at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Hill Street in Los Angeles.

The meetings were supposed to last three weeks. Instead, they continued for eight weeks, drawing more than 300,000 people and making Billy Graham a household name.

Nearly 70 years later, the 99-year-old evangelist remains one of the best-known preachers in America, according to a survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

Half of Protestant churchgoers in America (48%) have seen one of his sermons on television, while 1 in 10 (11%) attended one of his revivals, known as crusades…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/november/protestant-churchgoers-billy-graham-crusades-sermons-books.html

HOW TO FIGHT SELFISHNESS IN MARRIAGE
by Greg Smalley
I was doing some homework at breakfast, planning to meet a close friend and mentor the next morning. And I needed to be ready. I love connecting with him, but every time I do, he asks me the same question: “What has God been teaching you lately?”

I don’t always have an answer, and I wanted to prepare a theologically deep and appropriately pithy response. And then, just as my brain was getting into a groove, Erin interrupted me.

“I’m going to Denver next weekend,” she said, “and I was wondering if you’d bring Annie (our 10-year-old daughter) up to meet me so she and I can have a special date. There’s a fun play in town that I know she’d love.”

What? I mentally gasped. That’s, like, almost three hours of driving! Plus it’s on a Sunday … my day of rest. The Broncos are playing a really good team. The nerve of her asking for such a sacrifice. It’s ridiculous!

I didn’t say that to Erin, of course. I simply said, “Really? That would be a pretty long round-trip drive for me, plus the show tickets are really expensive.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/strengthening-your-marriage/how-to-fight-selfishness-in-marriage

LONGINGS OF MY SOUL THAT NOTHING ON EARTH CAN SATISFY
by Ken Gire
In J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the magician Gandalf told the reluctant and unlikely hero Bilbo Baggins, “There is more to you than you know.”

He said this knowing that within the hobbit’s veins coursed blood not only from the sedentary Baggins side of the family but also from the swashbuckling Took side. We have a similar mingling of blood within us from a lineage that is both human and divine.

Within us the dust of the earth and the breath of heaven are joined in a mysterious union only death can separate. But that relationship is often a strained one, for while the body is fitted for a terrestrial environment—with lungs to breathe air and teeth to chew food and feet to walk on dirt — the soul is extraterrestrial, fitted for heaven. It breathes other air, eats other food, walks other terrain…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/longings-of-my-soul-that-nothing-on-earth-can-satisfy/

REFORMATION DAY – THE FORGOTTEN CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY
by Clare De Graaf
When I was a kid, I loved Halloween. But my parents, my school and my church all made sure we knew October 31, was first and foremost, Reformation Day. That’s the day back in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses’, or theological objections, to a church door in Wittenburg, Germany. That courageous, Holy Spirit led act, changed history. It was the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

So why, two weeks after October 31, do I blog on this topic? Well, I was with some young men last week, raised in wonderful Christian homes, who’d never heard of Reformation Day and I don’t want to wait another year to talk about it.

So, if you have teenagers, grandchildren, or young men or women you mentor, they need to know how God, through Martin Luther, changed the world! So, please read this blog and the following article from the Wall Street Journal to them, so they never forget again, Reformation Day…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2017/11/13/reformation-day-the-forgotten-christian-holiday/

5 WAYS TO STAY CLOSE TO GOD DURING THE BUSY HOLIDAY SEASON
by Ann Swindell
Life doesn’t ever stop, especially during the busy holiday season full of to-do lists, parties, shopping and (hopefully!) worship and service opportunities. So how can we focus our hearts in a deeper way on the presence of God in our lives, especially during a time of year filled with increased opportunities and responsibilities? How can we stay close to God when everything around us is demanding our attention?

Here are some simple steps that I’ve found are helpful to stay close to Jesus during the holiday season…. Read this in full at
https://relevantmagazine.com/article/5-ways-to-stay-close-to-god-during-the-busy-holiday-season/

IN HIS PRESENCE
The 17th-century monk Brother Lawrence, before a day’s work as cook in his community, would pray, “O my God . . . grant me your grace to stay in your presence. Help me in my labors. Possess all my affections.” As he worked, he kept talking to God, listening for His leading and dedicating his work to Him. Even when he was busiest, he would use intervals of relative calm to ask for His grace. No matter what was happening, he sought for and found a sense of his Maker’s love.

As Psalm 89 confesses, the fitting response to the Creator of all who rules the oceans and is worshiped by hosts of angels is to lift up our lives—our whole lives to Him. When we understand the beauty of who God is we “hear the joyful call to worship”—whenever and wherever we are, “all day long” (vv. 15–16 NLT)…. Read this in full at
https://odb.org/2017/11/16/in-his-presence-3/

HOW A SMALL TOWN CAN TEACH LOVE AND FAITH: AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIC L. MOTLEY
Welcome to Madison Park, a small community in Alabama founded by freed slaves in 1880. And meet Eric Motley, a native son who came of age in this remarkable place where constant lessons in self-determination, hope, and faith taught him everything he needed for his journey to the White House.

Bible Gateway interviewed Eric L. Motley about his book, Madison Park: A Place of Hope (Zondervan, 2017).

Q: You write about “the burden of gratitude.” Explain what you mean by this?

Eric L. Motley: I think all of us live with a bit of regret: regret for not always allowing our feelings and expressions to be manifested, regret for not always having acted on generous impulses or inspirations. When I look back, I’m often disturbed by the thought that there were a good number of people who significantly gave of themselves for my betterment whom I never thanked or to whom I never adequately conveyed my gratitude. Some were strangers who flashed in and out of my life, and others were neighbors, friends, and teachers, many of whom did not live long enough to see their investment in me realized. I often find myself wondering if they had any real sense of my appreciation. One must constantly cultivate a sense of gratitude; it’s borne of continuous reflection and recognition of one’s own poverty and deep need for others…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/how-a-small-town-can-teach-love-and-faith-an-interview-with-eric-l-motley/

VERSE TO PONDER
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+100%3A4-5&version=NIV;CEB;ESV

CONSIDER
“It is not thy hold on Christ that saves thee; it is Christ. It is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee; it is Christ. It is not even thy faith in Christ, though that be the instrument; it is Christ’s blood and merit.”
– C. H. Spurgeon

THE ACADEMIC ADVANTAGES OF THE BIBLE
by William Jeynes
For years, Christians have asserted that the removal of the study of the Bible from public school curricula has had a negative moral and spiritual impact on American youth. In 2010, I conducted a meta-analysis that indicates a major educational cost of removing the Bible from our schools. These results were supported by two further studies. The data reinforce the recognition, which has grown over the last twelve to fourteen years, that in order for American high school students to be considered educated, they must have knowledge of the Bible…. Read this in full at
https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/11/the-academic-advantages-of-the-bible

100 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH, OSWALD CHAMBERS AND ‘MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST’ ARE STILL IMPACTING LIVES
Every day tens of thousands of people read the same entry in My Utmost for His Highest by way of an app, an email, a website, or their own copy of the book. A college freshman breaks open the volume his grandparents gave him when he graduated high school. A businesswoman, commuting into the city, listens to Utmost on her phone. A young musician discusses the devotional with her mentor. A war reporter, embedded in an army unit, pulls Utmost from his inside flak jacket, where he keeps the book close to his heart. My Utmost for His Highest has been in print for nearly a hundred years. What accounts for the book’s continued appeal to people of all ages and stations in life? To attempt an answer to this question, one must look at individual stories, taken from the recently released Utmost Ongoing: Reflections on the Legacy of Oswald Chambers…. Read this in full at
https://www.christianheadlines.com/slideshows/100-years-after-his-death-oswald-chambers-and-my-utmost-for-his-highest-are-still-impacting-lives.html

STILL HUMAN!
by Oswald Chambers
In the Scriptures, the great miracle of the incarnation slips into the ordinary life of a child; the great miracle of the transfiguration fades into the demon-possessed valley below; the glory of the resurrection descends into a breakfast on the seashore. This is not an anticlimax, but a great revelation of God.

We have a tendency to look for wonder in our experience, and we mistake heroic actions for real heroes. It’s one thing to go through a crisis grandly, yet quite another to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, and no one paying even the remotest attention to us. If we are not looking for halos, we at least want something that will make people say, “What a wonderful man of prayer he is!” or, “What a great woman of devotion she is!” If you are properly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the lofty height where no one would ever notice you personally. All that is noticed is the power of God coming through you all the time…. Read this in full at
https://utmost.org/still-human/

HOW TO LIVE THE BIBLE — THE BARRIERS OF IGNORANCE AND HYPOCRISY
by Mel Lawrenz
When believers talk about believing the Bible, respecting the Bible, following the Bible, but do exactly the opposite, the resulting damage is enormous. It damages the reputation of the church. It gives skeptics and doubters reasons to disregard the Bible. It defiles the name of Christ. It would be better that we not talk about living the Bible, unless we are serious about it.

Two of the greatest barriers to living the Bible are 1) ignorance and 2) hypocrisy.

Ignorance about the substance of Scripture is easily correctable. Biblical illiteracy is not a new thing. It is as old as the Scriptures themselves. When the Scriptures were rediscovered as in the time of Josiah or of Ezra, the people of God experienced dramatic spiritual renewal. But the very next generation could, and typically did, lose it all. In much of the 20 centuries of Christianity, ignorance of Scripture was normal. Of course, the masses who were illiterate cannot be to blame, but their pastors could have shepherded better by feeding the sheep, as Jesus commanded. Today, of course, we have the Bible in many translations around the world and in ample supply. We carry the Bible on our phones, so we are never without it. So biblical illiteracy is decreasing, right? No, it is not. Bible publication is up; Bible reading is down. But why?…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/how-to-live-the-bible-the-barriers-of-ignorance-and-hypocrisy/

THE NEW MATTHEW BIBLE: AN INTERVIEW WITH RUTH MAGNUSSON DAVIS
The New Matthew Bible (NMB) (Ruth Magnusson Davis, 2016) is now available to be read on Bible Gateway and in the award-winning free Bible Gateway App for tablets and smartphones.

Bible Gateway interviewed Ruth Magnusson Davis, editor of the NMB.

Q: Please explain what the New Matthew Bible (NMB) is.

Ruth Magnusson Davis: The New Matthew Bible is a lightly modernized version of a little-known Reformation Bible, called the Matthew Bible, which was first published in 1537. Few people realize that the Matthew Bible is the real primary version of our English Bible. All the versions that followed, including the KJV, have been revisions of it.

In 2009 I founded the New Matthew Bible Project, dedicated to bringing the Matthew Bible to the world again…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/the-new-matthew-bible-an-interview-with-ruth-magnusson-davis/

SHOW YOUR KIDS THE INCREDIBLE TREASURES OF GOD’S WORD
From golden promises to priceless stories, the NIV God’s Treasure Holy Bible (Zonderkidz, 2017) shows children the incredible treasures of God’s Word. Children will love hunting for Treasure Verses, reading key Pearls of Wisdom stories, and learning about each book of the Bible with X Marks the Spot introductions. This Bible also contains full-color maps of the biblical world and 12 illustrated pages with important Bible takeaways. Kids will learn just how precious they are in God’s eyes as they read the text of the New International Version (NIV) translation…. Take the quiz and read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/show-your-kids-the-incredible-treasures-of-gods-word/

Opioid Deaths Are Surging Among Single and Divorced Americans, Especially Men
A new report from Utah Senator Mike Lee’s Social Capital Project takes a deep dive into the available data on opioid addiction and offers a bleak, but sadly, unsurprising look at the present disaster. Opioid-related deaths quadrupled in the years between 1999 and 2015, the report says. In the single year 2015 and 2016, the number of deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids more than doubled. Indeed, opioids are now the top cause of accidental death for all Americans under age 50 and “have surpassed the all-time peaks of annual deaths caused (individually) by car crashes, HIV, and guns.” …. Read this in full at
https://ifstudies.org/blog/opioid-deaths-are-surging-among-single-and-divorced-americans-especially-men

CONSIDER
“Nothing is really ours until we share it.”
– C. S. Lewis

VERSE TO PONDER
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
– Colossians 2:6-7
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+2%3A6-7&version=NIV;KJV;NIRV

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: WHOLE-HEARTED THANKSGIVING TO THEE I WILL BRING
Words: Paraphrase of Psalm 9; author unknown. The first two lines of the refrain are borrowed from To God Be the Glory, by Fanny Crosby.
Music: W. Howard Doane, 1875

Whole-hearted thanksgiving to Thee I will bring
In praise of Thy marvelous deeds I will sing;
In Thee I will joy and exultingly cry,
Thy Name I will praise, O Jehovah, Most High.

Refrain
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
O come to Jehovah, declare ye His fame,
And give Him all honor, for just is His Name.

My enemies turn and are scattered in fear,
They stumble and perish because Thou art near;
For Thou hast defended my right and my cause,
Thou sittest in judgment, upholding Thy laws.
Refrain

Rebuked are the nations, the wicked destroyed;
Their memory perished, their dwelling place void;
Enthroned and eternal, Jehovah shall reign,
The peoples to judge and the right to maintain.
Refrain

Thou, Lord, art a Refuge for all the oppressed,
All trust Thee who know Thee, and trusting are blest;
For never, O Lord, did Thy mercy forsake
The soul that has sought of Thy grace to partake.
Refrain

Give praise to Jehovah, the mighty deeds tell
Of Him Who has chosen in Zion to dwell,
Of Him to Whom justice and vengeance belong,
Who visits the lowly and overthrows wrong.
Refrain

Behold my affliction, Thy mercy accord,
And back from death’s portals restore me, O Lord,
That I in the gates of Thy Zion may raise
My song of salvation and show forth Thy praise.
Refrain

The sins of the nations their ruin have wrought,
Their own evildoing destruction has brought;
In this the Lord’s justice eternally stands,
That sinners are snared in the work of their hands.
Refrain

The wicked shall perish, the nations shall fall,
Forgetting their God, who is God over all;
But God will remember the prayer of the weak,
Most surely fulfilling the hope of the meek.
Refrain

Arise in Thy justice, O Lord, and Thy might,
No longer let sinners prevail in Thy sight;
Great Judge of the of the nations, in judgment appear
To humble the proud and to teach them Thy fear.
Refrain

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/w/h/wht2tiwb.htm

ON PRAYER
“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
– John Bunyan

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.

Movie Trailer: Paul – Apostle of Christ
https://youtu.be/T_Cbyl6ykhw

Photos – Inside the Museum of the Bible
https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/inside-the-museum-of-the-bible-idUSRTS1K2YU

Slow Mo Katana Sword – 4K – The Slow Mo Guys
https://youtu.be/bAkEd8r7Nnw

The “Domino King” used 148,777 dominoes and two months of their life to make a tribute to a Super Mario game
https://youtu.be/A9X4V3169Lw

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.)

I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows…and a foundation leaks, and a ball game gets rained out, and a car rusts, and…
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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