For week of April 10, 2011
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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“Live as children of light — for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
“God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.”
SCHOLARS DOUBTFUL ABOUT METAL PLATE DOCUMENTS’ AUTHENTICITY
The Middle East in turmoil, newly discovered ancient texts carried across borders and offered for sale to the highest bidder: It reads like the Dead Sea Scrolls story. Only this is now and some people say these texts could be a Christian type of Dead Sea Scrolls if they are authentic. That’s a big if.
British media first reported on the discovery of 70 lead codices, metal plates barely bigger than a credit card, bound together with lead straps. Their text is in ancient Hebrew and Greek. They also contain Christian and Jewish symbols.
The codices are currently in the possession of an Israeli Bedouin who says they’ve been in his family for 100 years. However the reports also say that they were discovered a few years ago in a cave in a remote area of northwest Jordan. This is near the area where first century Christians fled when Jerusalem was attacked by the Romans.
The Jordanian government is trying to get them back. “They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls,” the director of Jordan’s Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, told the BBC.
To which Larry Hurtado says, “Chill, take a breath.” Hurtado is Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh.
Hurtado says dangling such discoveries in front of the media, before making them available to scholars, is becoming a tired game. “I’m impatient with people who go to the press and claim that they have something of enormous scholarly value and do not provide the materials for independent scholarly analysis. Controlling access to information is not how we do business in scholarship.” …. Read this in full at
SNAP OUT OF SPIRITUAL SLUMP WITH LENT
by Mark Batterson
When I was a seminary student, my wife and I went to downtown Chicago for a taping of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” When the producer came out to prep us for the show, I was embarrassed for him because he had dirt on his forehead. Didn’t he look in the mirror that morning? Why didn’t someone tell him? My embarrassment for him turned into embarrassment for myself when I discovered it was Ash Wednesday and the dirt on his forehead was actually ashes that symbolized the day of repentance that begins Lent.
I grew up going to a wide variety of Protestant churches, but none of them practiced or even mentioned Lent. It wasn’t until a few years ago, well into my tenure as lead pastor of National Community Church, that I discovered the value of Lent. It has since become a meaningful season in the cycle of my spiritual life. During the last few Lenten seasons, I’ve incorporated a fast into my routine. One year I gave up television. Another year I gave up soda. I’ve also done a variety of food fasts for Lent.
In my experience, giving something up for Lent has made the Easter celebration far more meaningful and even helped me develop the spiritual discipline of fasting. Fasting during Lent has helped me identify with the sacrifices Christ has made for me, and it’s also helped me focus on the reason for the season. The celebration of the resurrection of Christ has become far more meaningful since I started observing Lent…. Read this in full at
GUIDEPOSTS OURPRAYER MINISTRY PRESENTS ANNUAL GOOD FRIDAY DAY OF PRAYER EVENT
The Guideposts OurPrayer Ministry, part of the Ruth Stafford Peale Prayer Power Network, announces its 41st annual Good Friday Day of Prayer event scheduled for April 22nd at the Peale Center in Pawling, NY. As in years past, OurPrayer invites the public to submit prayer requests online at http://www.ourprayergoodfriday.org or volunteer to pray for others.
For more than 40 years, OurPrayer has set aside Good Friday as a special day of prayer. Last year, the Great Recession weighed heavily on the minds of many, with prayer requests centering on finances, unemployment, relationships, and health & healing. To address these concerns, OurPrayer volunteers, friends and staff prayed by name and need for more than 23,000 requests at the Peale Center, and were also joined at OurPrayer’s website by thousands around the world…. Read this in full at
AN INCREASINGLY POPULAR VIEW OF THE ATONEMENT FORCES THE QUESTION: WHAT ARE WE SAVED FROM?
by Mark Galli
Universalism is not the only topic in Rob Bell’s Love Wins that deserves comment, though given the buzz, you’d think that’s all he discusses. Among other things, the book also attacks “toxic” forms of substitutionary atonement, and advocates the use of a plurality of atonement theories. In this, Mr. Bell is repeating decades-old arguments in our movement, arguments that seem to be winning the day. One atonement theory in particular has exploded in popularity, in fact. Hardly an atonement discussion goes by that I don’t hear an evangelical say they doubt the usefulness of substitutionary atonement and now favor Christus Victor…. Read this in full at
SHOUTING STONES: A WOMAN’S LAVISH LOVE
by Stephen W. Rankin
It is so easy to lock in on Jesus’ words, “The poor you will always have with you,” and miss the impact of this scene. A woman barges into a meal and does what, by all practical intents and purposes, looks like a completely wasteful and useless act. She breaks a beautiful alabaster bottle and dumps rare and expensive perfumed ointment on Jesus’ head. Those present for the meal complain, but Jesus praises her and tells us why: “She has done a beautiful thing . . . she has anointed my body beforehand for burying.”
Apart from Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection, very few scenes appear in all four Gospels, but this one does. Maybe it is because Jesus said that wherever the Gospel is preached, this woman’s act of loving service would be told the world over. Whatever the reason, it stands for us as a challenge, with two questions for faith: Are we paying attention? What is the quality of our love? …. Read this in full at
WHAT OUR WORDS SAY ABOUT US
“People tell us that it is a noble and brave thing to speak out whatever words are on our minds at the moment. Outspokenness is considered a virtue, a sign of honesty and authenticity. Yet the Bible gives us a different word, a word of caution, telling us that our communication must be brought under control and kept under control.
“The first chapter of James tells us that we should be slow to speak. We learn that a person with an unbridled tongue – a person who does not control their communication or think about what they say – is a person whose religion is worthless. The third chapter of James’s letter is entirely dedicated to the taming of the tongue, to putting boundaries on our communication so that it can be used for good and not for evil. [Also,] Paul in Colossians exhorts the Christian to make sure that his speech is ‘gracious, seasoned with salt’ (4:6), while in Ephesians, he warns of ‘corrupting talk,’ filthy talk that pollutes and destroys instead of blessing and strengthening others (4:29).
“God’s Word teaches us the tongue is connected to the heart. The words that come out of a person’s mouth or are typed on his keypad and texted to a friend are an expression of what is in his heart. As Jesus said, ‘What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person’ (Matthew 15:18).
“[Here is a good] prayer about the tongue and the heart … ‘Oh, my God, take them both into your own keeping, under your own discipline, as instruments for your service and glory’ [from Proverbs by Charles Bridges].”
Tim Challies in The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion
AT UCONN, CHURCH MEETS NEXT TO HUSKY SPORTS MUSEUM
When The Bridge church meets for Sunday worship at the University of Connecticut, the gathering takes place in a room adjacent to the Husky Heritage Sports Museum.
“Sometimes during our church service, somebody will come to the sports museum and have to walk right through where we’re worshipping,” said Russell Atherton, church planter of The Bridge.
The museum now will boast a new attraction — another NCAA national championship trophy the UConn men’s basketball team won by defeating Butler 53-41 in Houston April 4…. Read this in full at
PLAYER ON NBA’S FIRST ALL-BLACK STARTING TEAM STANDS TALL FOR JESUS
He was an All-American at UCLA and later won three NBA world championships with the Boston Celtics. After his illustrious sports career, he came to understand his mother’s teachings about faith in a whole new way through a fresh encounter with God.
“My mother was an ambassador for Jesus Christ,” says Willie Naulls, the founder of Willie Naulls Ministries, a Christ-centered mission promoting a balanced awareness of academic, physical, and spiritual achievement. Naulls spent the early part of his childhood on the wrong side of the tracks in Dallas, Texas at a time when segregation still held its grip on the city. “It was very oppressive,” he recalls.
Despite the harsh racial atmosphere, his mother’s strong faith encouraged him to see his uniqueness as a child of God. “I was taught not to hate the people who hated me because of the color of my skin, but to pray for them and God would work it out.” …. Read this in full at
NEW MUSEUM TO USE SCIENCE TO TELL BIBLE’S HISTORY
A new multimillion-dollar, high-tech, interactive museum of the Bible was announced Mar. 31 amid 130 artifacts of the Good Book in a private exhibition at the Vatican Embassy. The exhibit was a sampler of Jewish, Roman Catholic, and Protestant treasures from the future museum’s 10,000 manuscripts and texts, one of the world’s largest biblical collections.
Some were as old as pages of the Gospel in the Aramaic of Jesus’ time, as political as the only Bible edition ever authorized by the U.S. Congress, as treasured as first editions of the majestic King James Version (KJV), displayed near the king’s own seal.
These will form the basis for “a public museum designed to engage people in the history and the impact of the Bible,” said museum sponsor Steve Green, an evangelical businessman and owner of Oklahoma City-based nationwide craft chain Hobby Lobby…. Read this in full at
Also see “Eyeing a national museum, a collector’s Bibles hits the road”
RELIGION AND SOCIAL MEDIA
On any given weekend, some 15,000 people worship with the evangelical Northland Church, but about a third of them never set foot in the building in Longwood, Florida. They’re worshiping online via the Web and Facebook and Smartphones.
With the explosion of online technologies and social media, religious institutions across the spectrum are finding more and more creative ways to connect with their members and reach out to new audiences. The Vatican, for example, has its own channel on YouTube, while the Dalai Lama tweets updates through Twitter. The innovations are providing new ministry opportunities, but some wonder if they are also changing fundamental beliefs and practices.
Northland Church and its prominent senior pastor, Joel Hunter, have been on the cutting edge of using new technologies, and they are helping others follow suit, especially churches in other parts of the world. Their online worshipers, they say, are demographically much like those who attend the main service. But the online ministry allows Northland to connect with people who wouldn’t have been comfortable attending a church. At the same time, Clark says Northland has created a worldwide church community…. Read this in full at
The tax filing deadline in the USA this year is April 18, not April 15.
THE NEW TESTAMENT MODEL FOR FORGIVENESS
by Dick Staub
How do I forgive those who have wronged me? Can I restore a relationship with someone who has deeply hurt me? Can ethnic groups set aside centuries of grievances and warring ways? Can the proverbial lion lay down with the lamb?
My friend Marty composed the music for the most successful game franchise in history, Halo. He wrote the music before the game’s story was fully developed. To guide Marty, co-creator Jason Jones suggested three words: ancient, mysterious, and epic. Those three words also describe the essence of forgiveness…. Read this in full at
SEIZING THOSE MOMENTS THAT MATTER
“Our constant busyness is causing us to miss more than just rest and refreshment. I’m convinced normal people miss the majority of God’s blessings because they’re too busy to notice them.
“Nowhere is this more apparent than in a scene of two women at odds over how they’re each spending their time. One is convinced she doesn’t have enough time; her sister, however, accepts an opportunity for a unique encounter and, as a result, receives a gift with literally eternal payoff: ‘As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made’ (Luke 10:38-40).
“Here’s what’s interesting: Mary and Martha are both presented with the same opportunity. Jesus, the very Son of God, has come to Martha’s home. What would you do if you knew Jesus was coming over? Now, Mary probably had other things she needed to do, just like the rest of us. Certainly she could have swept, cleaned, and tidied up. But she chose to create a moment instead. She said, ‘Right now, while we have this time, I’m not going to do any of that other stuff. I’m going to seize this moment and simply enjoy being with Jesus while I can.’
“When’s the last time you stopped long enough to embrace a matters-the-most moment? Too many good (or acceptable) things quickly overwhelm the most important things in life. Too often our desire to fit in, to belong, to conform and be considered normal eclipses our desire to follow God and do what’s best … In his letter to the Romans, Paul tells us exactly how we can counter this: ‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind’ (Rom. 12:2).”
Craig Groeschel in Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working
A SURFER WITH SOUL
Twenty-one-year-old Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm to a shark attack at the age of 13, but through courage, perseverance, and a strong faith has nonetheless still become one of the world’s greatest professional surfers. She’s written about her experience in books and now Soul Surfer (http://www.soulsurferthemovie.com/), a movie about her life, is in theaters. She was interviewed by Christianity Today.
Q: What did you think of the movie?
A; I thought it turned out really good. The story is true to my family and me. My family and I all took part in making the film from the very beginning till the very end. We had a lot of say in the script and day to day on the set. We’re all very proud of it and excited to share it.
Q: What parts did you feel like they got just perfect?
A: I thought the shark attack was really well done. It’s exactly how it really was. It started off a very happy, fun day, perfect weather. And then it happened real quick…. Read this in full at
FILMMAKER: I FOUND GOD IN HOLLYWOOD
It’s not impossible to be a Christian in Hollywood, Lee Stanley will tell you. What it does take is guts – the same guts it takes to be a Christian anywhere, he says.
Stanley wasn’t a believer when he moved from New England to California in the 1960s. He was in love with a fantasy – not the idea of making it big on the big screen, but being around the water all the time.
The aspiring baseball player had realized he wasn’t going to make it to the major leagues, so he turned to another passion – diving. He had no idea the trek West would lead him on the road to becoming a filmmaker who tells stories of redemption and faith.
Stanley details his life in “Faith in the Land of Make-Believe,” just published by Zondervan. In a phone interview from his boat, he said he wrote the book to “to encourage people that have wandered away or lost the confidence in the things that have been on their heart for years.” …. Read this in full at
IN MIDST OF CHAOS, OPEN DOORS STRENGTHENS CHRISTIANS LIVING IN MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA
Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Oman, Yemen, and Iran. These are some of the countries where the wind of revolution blows. The civilians are fed up with their leaders. They demonstrate and fight for freedom. Some pay with their lives.
Christians living in these predominately Muslim countries are holding on tight. Will there be more freedom or more persecution? Nobody knows. What is certain is doors have opened for Open Doors, a nonprofit Christian organization which has been supporting and strengthening persecuted Christians in 45 of the most dangerous countries in the world for 56 years.
“We don’t know when the borders will close,” said Stephan, an Open Doors worker for the Middle East and North Africa. “That’s why we have increased the number of Bibles, books, DVDs and other Christian materials to persecuted Christians. Our couriers and contacts are working very hard to achieve this. Now is the time to bring God’s Word in unprecedented amounts to Christians in these countries. Our warehouses will empty soon. We want to print extra literature.”
Even though the chaos offers opportunities, there are also serious threats to Open Doors’ work…. Read this in full at
WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE THE FOG WON’T LIFT
“Almost exactly two years after the shooting at New Life Church that took the lives of two of our congregation’s young women, I was spending some private time with God on [my] deck, when he whispered a prompting to me. It wasn’t an audible whisper, but the message was unquestionably clear. I want you to write, he said. There is something I want you to say.
“The divine input caught me off guard. ‘Seriously?’ I said out loud. I wasn’t sure what I could offer readers going through the darker days of life, when I was still numb from my own pain. But then God began to work on my heart, and on the hearts of the rest of our congregation. He bandaged our wounds, he shouldered our concerns, he shone a bright beam of light on what was at the time a very shadowy path. It took two long years for him to accomplish his work, but at last the broken places in our body were being made whole once again.
“One of the interesting things about living at 7500 feet above sea level is that dense pockets of heavy fog can sock you in, even when everything is clear down below. On many foggy mornings as I make my way to work, I’ll head down the hill toward the city of Colorado Springs and find a completely different world down there. Six minutes into my journey, the road is suddenly visible, the sky is bright, and the fog has disappeared. That’s how life feels at New Life Church these days. The fog has finally lifted. Our viewpoint has changed. Our perspective has shifted. Our outlook – at last – is bright. If there is one message I hope to convey, it’s that the bleak and devastating aftereffects of evil don’t have to cloud your vision forever. Our great God is committed to seeing you through.”
Brady Boyd in Fear No Evil: A Test of Faith, a Courageous Church, and an Unfailing God
REWRITING THE HISTORY OF EVANGELICALISM
by Mark Noll and Bruce Hindmarsh
British historian William Reginald (Reg) Ward decisively changed the way historians understand the origins of evangelicalism. No longer can the history of modern evangelicalism be told as an Anglo-American story, beginning with, say, John Wesley’s strangely warmed heart in London in 1738, or the phenomenon of revival in Northampton, Massachusetts, under Jonathan Edwards, a few years earlier. There is an Anglo-German axis that is every bit as important as the Anglo-American; once those Central European roots of evangelical religion are understood, the entire tradition takes on a fresh appearance…. Read this in full at
VERSE TO PONDER
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”
Psalm 18:2 (NLT)
“Grace means primarily the free, forgiving love of God in Christ to sinners and the operation of that love in the lives of Christians.”
A. M. Hunter
GROUND ZERO CROSS ON THE MOVE AGAIN
The Cross at Ground Zero was one of thousands of I-beams used to construct the iron skeletons of the World Trade Center towers. This one fell from the fiery, apocalyptic heavens during the 9/11 terror attacks and stuck upright in the ground, in a field of similar but smaller crosses.
The iconic cross rose higher than the others above the twisted steel, concrete slabs and human remains. When the smoke subsided and the dust and ashes settled, it emerged as a beacon — a sacred symbol of, at once, survival and remembrance.
Almost immediately, rescue workers and firefighters scratched out memorial messages on the 20-foot cross. A shrine was created, services were held.
It was later blessed and draped with a sheet-metal shroud from the wreckage, then hoisted atop a concrete stanchion from the destroyed plaza at the corner of Church and Liberty Streets.
The symbolism was obvious. Church, liberty, religious freedom — concepts that separate America from its attackers. The cross stayed there until October 2006, when it was moved for preliminary construction work at the site…. Read this in full at
CHRISTIAN: YOU ARE SALT AND LIGHT
by Michael Youssef
Jesus said that we are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”. Being salt and light is not optional. Jesus did not say you can be…or you have the potential to be…He said you are. Everyone who has trusted Christ for salvation and is born again is the salt of the earth and the light of the world…. Read this in full at
CHURCHES TURN TO ELECTRONIC GIVING, SURVEY FINDS
As consumers in the United States shift increasingly to online banking and bill payment, their electronic financial habits are spilling over into the church. A recent study by LifeWay Research finds that 14% of all American Protestant churches offer online giving.
The survey of 1,003 Protestant congregations was conducted in September 2010 and sponsored by LifeWay’s Digital Church partner ServiceU. It finds that large churches are most likely to offer online giving and that for the most part, electronic tithes and offerings are a recent development.
A majority (55%) of churches with average worship attendance of 500 or more offer online giving, along with 26% of congregations with attendance of 200 to 499. In contrast, just 9% of churches with 100 to 199 attendees offer online giving, as do 7% of churches with 50 to 99 attendees and 4% with less than 50 attendees.
Two-thirds (66%) of churches with online giving have offered it for two years or less. That includes 26% who have offered it for about two years, 24% who have offered it for less than one year, and 16% who have offered it for about one year…. Read this in full at
FLIRTING WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS
“[Paul says] ‘To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life’ [Romans 2:7].
“Righteousness – true holiness – is seen over time in our persistence. It is relatively easy to “flirt” with righteousness – being occasionally courteous to other drivers (if you happen to be in a good mood), helping someone in need by opening the door for them (if you have time), throwing a few extra bucks into the offering plate (as long as you won’t miss them). But this behavior is in reality superficial righteousness. The righteousness God seeks is a persistent righteousness, a commitment to continue making the right decision even when, perhaps hourly, you feel pulled in the opposite direction. Holiness is far more than an inclination toward occasional acts of kindness and charity. It is a commitment to persistent surrender before God.
“What gives us the power to persist in doing good? Paul hints at the answer in the Romans 2 passage mentioned above. He notes that in our persistence we seek ‘glory, honor and immortality’ (Romans 2:7). These are words that point to an alternate history, to an afterlife. Persistence doesn’t make sense unless we live with a keen sense of eternity.
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance” [2 Thessalonians 3:5].”
Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriage Gift Edition
THE ETERNAL IMPACT OF EVERYDAY CONVERSATIONS
Is it possible to make an eternal difference in the lives of those we meet every day? Can an ordinary conversation over a cup of coffee with a friend, or a random encounter with a stranger in the supermarket, have an impact on their lives that will last forever?
Lloyd Pulley, author and senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, believes that it can. In his latest book, Everyday Conversations, Eternal Impact: Lessons Drawn From Jesus And The Woman At The Well (http://www.EverydayEternal.com), he outlines some practical guidelines that will help believers share their faith more effectively. Personal testimonies of how Christians impacted others in their decision for Christ, together with revised concepts from his book, patient evangelism, make this a vital message for anyone who longs to win souls…. Read this in full at
BIBLES FOR PRISONERS PROGRAM EXPANDED INTO THIRD WORLD
Crossroad Bible Institute is responding to the lack of Bibles available to prisoners in developing countries by launching its Bibles for Prisoners program worldwide, beginning in Africa and Latin America.
CBI students in developed countries like the U.S. or Australia may struggle to acquire Bibles, but the challenge is not insurmountable. In prisons in the developing world, however, where even food, soap and other basic necessities are scarce, the situation is drastically different.
When visiting CBI Zambia, CBI’s Cynthia Williams discovered firsthand that the 50 initial CBI students at Lusaka Central Prison had to share two Bibles, which were stored in the facility’s “library,” a small, dirty, minimally-furnished room. Many students struggled to finish their work in a timely manner…. Read this in full at
THOMAS NELSON LAUNCHES BUY A BIBLE, HELP A CHILD PROMOTION WITH WORLD VISION
Anyone who buys a Thomas Nelson-published Bible in a Christian retail store will be doing more than bringing home God’s Word — they’ll be putting it into action and helping children. Through the God’s Word in Action “Buy a Bible, Help a Child” promotion, sales of Thomas Nelson Bibles — including children’s and Spanish-language Bibles — will help World Vision, the Christian humanitarian organization, end poverty and preventable deaths among children in the USA and worldwide (applies to sales at US Christian retail stores only from April 1, 2011 – March 31, 2012. Thomas Nelson will donate 10% of its year-over-year net revenue growth achieved during that period to World Vision, with a minimum donation of $75,000).
When World Vision combines Thomas Nelson’s donation with matching grant funds and corporate donations, the donation multiplies four times to be used to improve the health of children around the world…. Read this in full at
THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT
A former Marine sergeant took a new job as a school teacher; but just before the school year started he injured his back. He was required to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. Fortunately, the cast fit under his shirt and wasn’t noticeable.
On the first day of class, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in the school. The smart-alecky punks, having already heard the new teacher was a former Marine, were leery of him. They decided to see how tough he really was, before trying any pranks.
Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, the new teacher opened the window wide and sat down at his desk. When a strong breeze made the teacher’s tie flap, he picked up a stapler and promptly stapled the tie to his chest.
He had no trouble with discipline that year.
“Fulfillment doesn’t automatically happen as a result of linking up with the ‘right’ person, job, or even ministry. Fulfillment happens as a result of being in God’s will.”
VERSE TO PONDER
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
John 15:9-12 (NIV)
THIS WEEK’S HYMN: CROSS OF JESUS
Words: William J. Sparrow-Simpson, 1887
Music: John Stainer, 1887
Cross of Jesus, cross of sorrow,
Where the blood of Christ was shed,
Perfect Man on thee did suffer,
Perfect God on thee has bled!
Here the King of all the ages,
Throned in light ere worlds could be,
Robed in mortal flesh is dying,
Crucified by sin for me.
O mysterious condescending!
O abandonment sublime!
Very God Himself is bearing
All the sufferings of time!
Evermore for human failure
By His passion we can plead;
God has born all mortal anguish,
Surely He will know our need.
This — all human thought surpassing —
This is earth’s most awful hour,
God has taken mortal weakness!
God has laid aside His Power!
Once the Lord of brilliant seraphs,
Winged with love to do His will,
Now the scorn of all His creatures,
And the aim of every ill.
Up in Heaven, sublimest glory
Circled round Him from the first;
But the earth finds none to serve Him,
None to quench His raging thirst.
Who shall fathom that descending,
From the rainbow circled throne,
Down to earth’s most base profaning,
Dying desolate alone.
From the “Holy, Holy, Holy,
We adore Thee, O most High,”
Down to earth’s blaspheming voices
And the shout of “Crucify.”
Cross of Jesus, cross of sorrow,
Where the blood of Christ was shed,
Perfect Man on thee did suffer,
Perfect God on thee has bled!
>from NetHymnal at
“Prayer frees us to be controlled by God. To pray is to change. There is no greater liberating force in the Christian life than prayer. To enter the gaze of the Holy is never to be the same. To bathe in the Light in quiet wonder and glad surrender is to be slowly, permanently transformed. There is a richer inward orientation, a deep hunger for communion. We feel as if we are being taken over by a new control Center, and so we are.”
Richard J. Foster, Freedom of Simplicity, HarperCollins, 1989, p. 58
PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
DAILY BLESSING PACT
Use the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.
I am agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake you!
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will
Raises or bonuses
Sales & commissions
Estates & inheritances
Rebates & returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Money to be found
Bills decrease while blessings increase
“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God” (Deut. 28:2).
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CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
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