CONNECTIONS NEWS – 11/26/2017

Connecting man to man to God
For week of November 26, 2017
Issue 548
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

Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with celebration!
Come before him with shouts of joy!
Know that the LORD is God—
he made us; we belong to him.[a]
We are his people,
the sheep of his own pasture.
Enter his gates with thanks;
enter his courtyards with praise!
Thank him! Bless his name!
Because the LORD is good,
his loyal love lasts forever;
his faithfulness lasts generation after generation. Psalm 100
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+100&version=CEB

CONSIDER
“Look for a kind life which is in harmony with the will of God, and then you will fulfill the duty of your life.”
– Leo Tolstoy

23 BIBLE VERSES ABOUT THANKSGIVING AND GRATITUDE
Looking for Bible verses about thanksgiving and gratitude? Here are 23 verses that teach us something important about thankfulness…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2016/11/23-bible-verses-about-thanksgiving-and-gratitude/

WHY OVERCOMING THE SCROOGE IN ALL OF US BEGINS WITH GRATITUDE
by Mark McMinn
Social scientists are uncovering the benefits of generous living. Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson, authors of The Paradox of Generosity, note, “By giving ourselves away, we ourselves move toward flourishing. This is not only a philosophical or religious teaching; it is a sociological fact.” Those who give 10 percent or more of their income and those who volunteer their time are more likely than others to report being very happy. Similarly, those who are generous in their relationships, offering their attention and emotions to others, tend to be happier than those who are less generous relationally. Generosity also has health benefits. Those who give more money, volunteer their time, and are relationally generous are more likely to be in excellent or very good health than others. And those who are more generous in these ways also report a clearer sense of their purpose in life…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/november-web-only/generous-soul-overcoming-scrooge-gratitude.html

‘TWAS THE NIGHT OF THANKSGIVING
‘Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
But I just couldn’t sleep.
I tried counting backwards,
I tried counting sheep
The leftovers beckoned
The dark meat and white,
But I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of a snack became infatuation!
So I raced to the kitchen,
Flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground!!

I crashed through the ceiling, floated into the sky
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie,
But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees …

HAPPY EATING TO ALL,
PASS THE CRANBERRIES PLEASE!!
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com

WHY THE MIKE PENCE RULE IS AS CHRISTIAN AS IT IS WISE
by Michael Brown
In a New York Times op-ed piece titled “A Christian Case Against the Pence Rule,” Katelyn Beaty argued that, “It’s time for men in power to believe their female peers when they say that the rule hurts more than helps.” Based on my own experience, scriptural principles, human nature, and the unanimous testimony of all my female peers, I would argue strongly that the Pence rule (or, in the past, the Billy Graham rule) is both Christian and wise.

Beaty is correct in noting that the Pence rule does not directly relate to the conduct of alleged sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein. No one is assuming that most men try to rape and abuse the women they meet.

Still, she writes:

The Pence rule arises from a broken view of the sexes: Men are lustful beasts that must be contained, while women are objects of desire that must be hidden away. Offering the Pence rule as a solution to male predation is like saying, “I can’t meet with you one on one, otherwise I might eventually assault you.” If that’s the case, we have far deeper problems around men and power than any personal conduct rule can solve.

But this is a complete misunderstanding of the Pence Rule…. Read this in full at
https://stream.org/mike-pence-rule-christian-wise/

VICTIMS AND VICTIMIZERS AND A SIN-SICK WORLD
by Tim Challies
Aileen and I have developed a shared passion for photography, especially for landscape photography. A little while ago, she began to follow various landscape photographers on Instagram and made an interesting observation: almost all of them are men. She began to wonder why, so asked Google and found an interesting answer. In the first place, landscape photography tends to involve lugging heavy equipment far into the wilderness, a task that men typically find easier than women. Second, it often involves doing this alone, and many women judge that too great a risk. The sad fact is, men have the privilege of roaming far and wide at much less personal risk than women.

I was recently reading an article written by a woman who has a passion for running, and in it, Brianne Kohl tells how her hobby has introduced her to risks. She tells of being accosted by men and avoiding assault only because her heroic dog got involved and took a chunk out of an assailant. She tells of the fear she feels when she runs down country roads, and has a man slow down to chat or to ask a question. But there is one anecdote that I found particularly sad – the one where she tells of seeing a “creep” in the woods ahead. Here’s how she describes it: …. Read this in full at
https://www.challies.com/articles/victims-and-victimizers-and-a-sin-sick-world/

WHAT DOES ‘LOVING GOD WITH ALL OF YOUR MIND’ ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE?
by Matt Huett
When asked to identify the greatest command in all the Torah, Jesus said that loving God with all of one’s mind-among other faculties-was paramount. Having been a pastor and professor for the majority of my adult life, that particular part of one’s self-the mind-stands out to me. What does it mean to love God with all of your mind?

those who would love God with all of their mind should be aware: This journey is not for the faint of heart. For all of its blessing, learning can be disorienting, confusing, exhausting, frustrating and scary. So if you want to love God with all of your intellect, you’ll need to cultivate humility, courage, and trust along the way…. Read this in full at
https://relevantmagazine.com/article/what-does-loving-god-with-all-of-your-mind-actually-look-like/

WORLD’S LARGEST MUSEUM OF THE BIBLE NOW OPEN
Nov. 17, one day before Museum of the Bible opened to the public, a diverse group of faith and secular leaders from around the world gathered at the eight-story, 430,000-square-foot museum in Washington, DC, to dedicate the newest museum in the nation’s capital in front of a standing-room-only crowd.

According to a museum fact sheet, visitors would have to spend nine eight-hour days in the museum to read every placard, see every artifact, and experience every activity offered. The second, third, and fourth floors are categorized galleries for the Impact of the Bible, Narrative of the Bible, and History of the Bible, respectively…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/worlds-largest-museum-of-the-bible-now-open/

THE STORY OF THE BIBLE
If you were to summarize the story of the Bible in a few sentences, what would you say? Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City, says the story of the Bible can be summarized by three words: creation, fall, and redemption. Listen to this interview in full at
http://myfaithradio.com/2017/the-story-of-the-bible/

THE MOST REPEATED COMMAND IN THE BIBLE
by Jon Bloom
What do you think is the most repeated command in the Bible?

It’s not any of the prohibitions or warnings. It’s not about sex, or money, or power. The most repeated command in the Bible will probably surprise you: Be happy. God tells us more than anything else, in different ways, to “praise the Lord,” “do not be afraid,” “rejoice,” and “give thanks” – all of which are commands, in essence, to be happy.

Don’t move past this too quickly. Let it sink in: more than anything else, God commands us to be happy. God wants you to be truly, deeply happy. Not just in heaven someday. Not when circumstances take a turn for the better. Not when the sorrow or the darkness finally lifts. God wants you to taste real joy today. Now…. Read this in full at
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-most-repeated-command-in-the-bible

KEEPING GOD’S REPUTATION INTACT
by Clare De Graaf
My wife Susan and I love to eat out at quiet, mostly adults only, restaurants. But for breakfasts, there are usually families with young children at almost every table.

Occasionally there are families with children who are annoying, loud, disrespectful, or fighting with each other. When the bedlam becomes too distracting to ignore, my wife and I will often turn to each other and ask, “What kind of parents would let their children act that way?”

How our children behave tells us something about their parents!

All of us know fellow Christians, or at least people who believe themselves to be Christians, who either have, or are, behaving badly. Every pastor could name dozens of men and women, right in their church, who ought to know better, who are publicly embarrassing the name of Jesus.

But, forget everyone else for a moment. Does your public life add to God’s reputation or hurt it? …. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2017/11/20/keeping-gods-reputation-intact/

BIBLE GATEWAY NOW OFFERS EVANGELICAL HERITAGE VERSION® (EHV®) NEW TESTAMENT AND PSALMS FOR DIGITAL READING
The Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) is available for reading online and is downloadable in the award-winning free Bible Gateway App for tablets and smartphones.

“Our translation is called Evangelical because its highest goal is to proclaim the good news of the gospel of salvation through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ,” says Brian R. Keller, New Testament editor of the Wartburg Project. “Our translation is called Heritage because we’re conscious that we’re building on the rich tradition of English Bible translation. We look to preserving the past and passing on a heritage to the future.” …. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/bible-gateway-now-offers-evangelical-heritage-version-ehv-new-testament-and-psalms-for-digital-reading/

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE EFFECTS OF BIBLICAL ILLITERACY
by George Weigel
Imagine that the principal donor funding Washington’s new museum of the Bible was George Soros. Does anyone think that mainstream media (MSM) stories on the museum’s opening would highlight Soros’s 1992 shorting of the British pound, a maneuver that netted him a billion dollars?

Imagine, further, that the new museum’s principal academic advisers had included leaders of the deconstructive “Jesus Seminar” such as John Dominic Crossan and Burton Mack. Does anyone suppose that MSM stories about the new museum would be fraught with fears of a Biblical takeover of the nation’s capital, and indeed of the nation’s culture?

Of course not. But because the chief donors to the Museum of the Bible were the Greens of Hobby Lobby, and the museum’s academic advisory board was not replete with men and women who regard the Bible as an ancient text to be dissected the way a pathologist dissects a cadaver, the MSM has been discovering shadows and phantoms everywhere, even as some have admired aspects of the new museum’s architecture and design…. Read this in full at
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453930/museum-bible-impressive-roy-moore-scandals-embarrassment-evangelicals-biblically-iilliterate

A PRAYER A WEEK
by Mel Lawrenz
I’m starting a new project called “Prayer of the Week,” which I’m very enthused about. You can view this prayer, and from that page you can download a “printable prayer” PDF, listen to the audio, and share the prayer. I hope you will. You can also sign up to get the “Prayer of the Week” via email. These are days in which we all need prayer for ourselves, and to pray for each other…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/in-time-for-thanksgiving-and-christmas-a-special-note-from-mel-lawrenz/

HOW TO KEEP JOY IN CHRISTMAS
by Mel Lawrenz
A bit of joy will do. But “great joy”? Is it almost too much to hope for?

Where did all the Christmas joy go? How did things get so complicated? So rushed? So squeezed and cluttered? It doesn’t have to be that way. We can choose to step aside — step into a quieter moment—and read angels’ words that came on that night that changed the world…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/how-to-keep-joy-in-christmas/

VERSE TO PONDER
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18
https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/1%20Thessalonians%205:18

CONSIDER
“Down through the centuries in times of trouble and trial God has brought courage to the hearts of those who love Him. The Bible is filled with assurances of God’s help and comfort in every kind of trouble which might cause fears to arise in the human heart. You can look ahead with promise, hope, and joy.”
– Billy Graham

LETTER TO A WOULD-BE ADULTERER
by Kent Butterfield
Dear Husband,
You know why I am writing to you. In our last conversation, you shared the pattern of your sinful thoughts, and how it often leads you to look at pornography. We agreed together on the importance of having dominion over our imaginations and putting on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). Viewing pornography is already a lamentable breach of your faithfulness to your wife, but I’m concerned it may only be the beginning.

I fear for you, and your wife, if you do not repent from these patterns of sin. Beyond the pornography, members of our church have noticed how you seem to be preoccupied with other women. They and I fear for how you shower them with flattery, which many perceive as flirting. You appear to be on a pathway that ends with adultery as you already betray a lack of fidelity to your bride…. Read this in full at
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-pathway-from-porn-to-adultery

WHERE ARE THE MEN IN THE CHURCH?
by Jonathan Hayashi
America is in crisis. I weep often as I look around and see the staggering confusion of masculinity and manhood identity crisis. As we look at sociological data and statistics, analysts often point out the root problem in the failure of men. In our fatherless culture, many guys struggle with their identity as men who live as faithful husbands and responsible fathers; as a result, they feel alienated from God.

While the world seems increasingly confused about basic matters like what it means to be male, churches offer to help men find true healing. This raises some of the most important issues facing Christians today. We must reach men in Jesus Christ by the power of Christ’s substitutionary death and resurrection.

The church is in great need of awakening and renewal. Richard Baxter said it well, “Its greatest need might well be godly men.”

Here are three suggestions I give to regain our Biblical manhood: …. Read this in full at
https://ftc.co/resource-library/blog-entries/where-are-the-men-in-the-church

BRAWLER-TURNED-PASTOR TRANSFORMS MONTANA CHURCH & TOWN
There was a petition circulating to remove violent brawler Jim Webley from town when God intervened and changed not just Webley’s life but, years later, the course of a church and a Montana community.

In his early 20s, Webley was working in the gold mines of Nevada, entrenched in a rough lifestyle of drugs and alcohol, and through weekly fighting he had “put some people in the hospital,” he told Baptist Press. People just wanted him to leave town.

One Sunday morning, Webley was driving his young daughter Sara to get milkshakes when they passed a little white Baptist church building in the Nevada community.

“I absolutely never went to church down there, but I could feel God pulling me in that direction,” Webley recounted. “He was telling me I needed to get into church.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/49937/brawlerturnedpastor-transforms-mont-church-and-town

GIVE TO THOSE WHO BEG FROM YOU
by Andrew Wilson
Should we give to everyone who begs from us? Jesus said we should, after all (Matt 5:42; Luke 6:30). It’s an interesting question, because very few people want to disagree with Jesus; at the same time, very few people actually think you should give to literally everyone who asks you for something (or if they do, most don’t consistently live that way). It raises some important questions about biblical interpretation (should we do the rest of the stuff in the Sermon on the Mount? love our neighbors? gouge out our eyes if we lust? pray for those who persecute us? give away one shirt if we have two?). It raises questions about handling our hearts and developing Christian character (does a “yes” encourage legalism and pride? does a “no” encourage apathy and greed? Etc.). And it spills over into all sorts of other areas: politics, social care, mercy ministries in the church, financial stewardship, and so on…. Read this in full at
http://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/give_to_those_who_beg_from_you

THE WORTHY WALK OF HUMILITY
by Richard Doster
There was a refreshing opinion piece in last week’s local paper: “What politicians can learn from the Boy Scouts.” The author argued that we should evaluate political candidates against the character qualities listed in the Boy Scout Law: Are they trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent? What a great checklist.

These traits are all commended in the Bible, and according to Jerry Bridges, the recently deceased writer and theologian, they, like all godly character traits, are grounded in one other attribute: humility. According to Bridges, the New Testament talks about humility some 40 times (only love is mentioned more), and throughout one thing seems clear: If we’re to exhibit the character that pleases God — and that reflects the character of Christ’s coming kingdom — we must be humble…. Read this in full at
http://byfaithonline.com/the-worthy-%e2%80%a8walk-of-%e2%80%a8humility/

THE MARRIAGE SAVER
by Gary Thomas
There is one thing that could save you thousands of dollars in marital counseling.

It can turn a frustrating marriage into a delightful one.

It can turn a barren marriage into a fruitful one.

It can turn a hurtful marriage into an encouraging one.

Indeed, if we will more earnestly pursue this one spiritual truth every aspect of marriage will flourish. Wherever we lack this spiritual dimension, every aspect of marriage will suffer.

If you believe the Bible and if you trust in the wisdom of the Christian classics, it is impossible for us to truly love our spouse (or anyone else) without humility. If you want to pursue intimacy, if you want to pursue deeper relationships, joy, and peace, you must pursue humility…. Read this in full at
http://www.garythomas.com/the-marriage-saver/

HELP YOUR KIDS READ THE BIBLE: AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID MURRAY
How should you introduce your 6- to 12-year-old kids to the most important passages and big-picture storyline of the Bible? How can you best answer your children’s questions about the Bible when you don’t know the answer yourself?

Bible Gateway interviewed David Murray about his book, Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids (Crossway, 2017).

Q: Is it correct to assume that parents don’t read the Bible to their children as often as they should?

David Murray: Many parents do read the Bible to their kids, but they’re probably in the minority. The two main reasons parents don’t do this are that many parents have not prioritized this and others are too busy to do it. Unless it’s made a family priority, and it’s scheduled as part of our everyday life, it’s not going to happen…. Read this in full at
https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/11/help-your-kids-read-the-bible-an-interview-with-david-murray/

CHINA TELLS CHRISTIANS TO REPLACE IMAGES OF JESUS WITH COMMUNIST PRESIDENT
Thousands of Christian villagers in China have been told to take down displays of Jesus, crosses, and gospel passages from their homes as part of a government propaganda effort to “transform believers in religion into believers in the party.”

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that Communist Party of China (CPC) officials visited believers’ homes in Yugan county of Jiangxi province – where about 10 percent of the population is Christian. They urged residents to replace personal religious displays with posters of President Xi Jinping; more than 600 removed Christian symbols from their living rooms, and 453 hung portraits of the Communist leader, according to SCMP.

The efforts were part of a government campaign to alleviate poverty in the region, since some CPC members believe families’ faith is to blame for their financial woes, according to SCMP. The poster swaps in villagers’ homes represent the party’s desire to have residents look to their leaders, rather than their Savior, for assistance…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/november/china-christians-jesus-communist-president-xi-jinping-yugan.html

CONSIDER
“Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace.”
– G. K. Chesterton

VERSE TO PONDER
And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.
– Ephesians 5:18-20
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5%3A18-20&version=ASV;NIV;NLT

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: WHAT SHALL I RENDER TO MY GOD
Words: Isaac Watts, 1719
Music: Vincent Novello; 1868

What shall I render to my God
For all His kindness shown?
My feet shall visit Thine abode,
My songs address Thy throne.

Among the saints that fill Thine house
My off’rings shall be paid;
There shall my zeal perform the vows
My soul in anguish made.

How much is mercy Thy delight,
Thou ever blessèd God!
How dear Thy servants in Thy sight!
How precious is their blood!

How happy all Thy servants are!
How great Thy grace to me!
My life, which thou hast made Thy care,
Lord, I devote to Thee.

Now I am Thine, forever Thine,
Nor shall my purpose move
Thy hand hath loosed my bonds of pain,
And bound me with Thy love.

Here in Thy courts I leave my vow,
And Thy rich grace record;
Witness, ye saints, who hear me now,
If I forsake the Lord.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/w/s/wsirtmgd.htm

ON PRAYER
“The Lord’s Prayer is not, as some fancy, the easiest, the most natural of all devout utterances. It may be committed to memory quickly, but it is slowly learned by heart.”
– John F. D. Maurice

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.

Fun Video: Bearded Gospel Men – THE BOOK!
https://youtu.be/vs7k8cyvoO4

Georgia Dome Demolition From Different Angles
https://youtu.be/sZvZ6pFKfnM

A back-flipping robot
https://youtu.be/fRj34o4hN4I

A surprise performance of Ravel’s Bolero stuns shoppers
https://youtu.be/ILNDWCLVnpw

Asgardia, the world’s first ‘space nation’, takes flight
http://www.cnn.com/style/article/asgardia-satellite-launch/index.html

Overprotective dad dog
https://youtu.be/k_YtadXMmD4

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.)

People are funny. They spend money they don’t have to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.
Frank Coleman
Editor
rev.frank@gmail.com

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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