CONNECTIONS News – 01/01/2011

Connecting man to man to God
For week of January 1, 2012
Issue 389

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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     BIBLE VERSES TO HELP START THE NEW YEAR
Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Psalm 20:4
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Lamentations 3:22-24
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Ezekiel 36:25-27
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Isaiah 64:3-4
For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

     CONSIDER
True repentance is to cease from sin.”
St. Ambrose of Milan (Aurelius Ambrosius) (339-397), attributed

     PERSONAL MANIFESTOS FOR 2012
As the new year dawns, you may find one of the following declarations personally useful guidance:

THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN DECLARATION
“Today I am stepping across the line. I’m tired of waffling, and I’m finished with wavering. I’ve made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable. I’m going God’s way. There’s no turning back now! I will live the rest of my life serving God’s purposes with God’s people on God’s planet for God’s glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word”…. Read this in full at
http://www.purposedrivenchurch.com/en-US/AboutUs/PD_declaration.htm

A MAGNA CHARTA OF TRUST BY AN OUT-OF-CONTROL DISCIPLE
“I once was a control junkie, but now am an Out-of-Control Disciple. I’ve given up my control to God. I trust and obey the Spirit. I’ve jumped off the fence, I’ve stepped over the line, I’ve pulled out all the stops. There’s no turning back, looking around, slowing down, backing away, letting up, or shutting up. It’s life Against the Odds, Outside the Box, Over the Wall, the game of life played Without Goal Lines other than ‘Thy Will Be Done….’ I am not here to please the dominant culture. I live to please my Lord and Savior”…. Read this in full at
http://www.leonardsweet.com/article_details.php?id=15

A JESUS MANIFESTO FOR THE 21ST CENTURY CHURCH
Christians have made the gospel about so many things … things other than Christ.

Jesus Christ is the gravitational pull that brings everything together and gives them significance, reality, and meaning. Without him, all things lose their value. Without him, all things are but detached pieces floating around in space.

It is possible to emphasize a spiritual truth, value, virtue, or gift, yet miss Christ . . . who is the embodiment and incarnation of all spiritual truth, values, virtues, and gifts.

Seek a truth, a value, a virtue, or a spiritual gift, and you have obtained something dead.

Seek Christ, embrace Christ, know Christ, and you have touched him who is Life. And in him resides all Truth, Values, Virtues and Gifts in living color. Beauty has its meaning in the beauty of Christ, in whom is found all that makes us lovely and loveable.

What is Christianity? It is Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less. Christianity is not an ideology. Christianity is not a philosophy. Christianity is the “good news” that Beauty, Truth and Goodness are found in a person. Biblical community is founded and found on the connection to that person. Conversion is more than a change in direction; it’s a change in connection. Jesus’ use of the ancient Hebrew word shubh, or its Aramaic equivalent, to call for “repentance” implies not viewing God from a distance, but entering into a relationship where God is command central of the human connection.

In that regard, we feel a massive disconnection in the church today. Thus this manifesto…. Read this in full at
http://www.leonardsweet.com/article_details.php?id=48
http://www.ptmin.org/AJesusManifesto.pdf

JOHN WESLEY’S COVENANT PRAYER
“I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing; put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or brought low for you”…. Read this in full at
http://inthestoryline.com/2010/10/11/john-wesleys-covenant-prayer/

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED
“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals”…. Read this in full at
http://www.gospeltruth.net/unashamed.htm

A PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
I pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ, my rescuer and leader, and to his command, ‘Love one another, as I have loved you.’ I pledge to live this day by faith in God, to love him with all my passion, character, intellect, and muscle, to forgive others quickly, and to bear the Holy Spirit fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (copyright 2010, jonathan.petersen@comcast.net)

     PASTORS ON PRINCIPLES FOR MAKING, AND FOLLOWING, NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Many people have made New Year’s resolutions that are kept no longer than a few weeks. But how can Christians make, and keep, spiritual New Year’s resolutions for 2012?

PJ Lewis, North Campus pastor for The Well Community Church in Fresno, Calif., says Christians should be making resolutions every day, not just on Dec. 31.

I looked up the word ‘resolution’ and it was defined as ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something,’” he told The Christian Post via email. “Based on this, the Christian life is full of ‘resolutions,’ times that we resolve to do or not to do something, all the way back to the initial decision of trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastors-on-principles-for-making-and-following-new-years-resolutions-66115/

     POPULAR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Check out some New Year’s resolutions that are popular year after year.
* Drink Less Alcohol
* Get a Better Education
* Get a Better Job
* Get Fit
* Lose Weight
* Manage Debt
* Manage Stress
* Quit Smoking Now
* Save Money
* Take a Trip
* Volunteer to Help Others…. Read this in full at
http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/New_Years_Resolutions.shtml

     BIBLE READING PLANS FOR 2012
http://www.commonenglishbible.com/Bibles/FreeDownloads/tabid/203/Default.aspx
http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/all
http://www.zondervan.com/Cultures/en-US/Product/Bible/Plans.htm
http://www.biblica.com/bibles/daily-reading/
http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html
http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/readingplans/
http://www.navpress.com/dj/content.aspx?id=138
http://www.bibleplan.org/
http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/dept.asp?dept_id=1117841&TopLevel_id=190000

     TWELVE QUESTIONS EVERY THOUGHTFUL CHRISTIAN SHOULD ASK THEMSELVES ANNUALLY
by Clare De Graaf
Was I a good investment for God this year?

I’m serious! Have you ever thought of your life as a love gift Jesus gave to the Father for the purpose of serving in his kingdom, both in this life as well as the next?

And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10

You were purchased by Jesus for a purpose beyond your personal, eternal salvation. You and I are an investment of sorts and as such have a mission from God. So, how are you doing? …. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2011/12/26/the-examined-life-twelve-questions-every-thoughtful-christian-should-ask-themselves-annually/

     NATIONAL CHOIR APPRECIATION SUNDAY IS JAN. 8
January 8, 2012 marks the first time a national campaign has been launched for churches across America to celebrate their musical members who volunteer their time to uplift and empower the church.

There are more than 32.5 million choir members in churches across America, and collectively, they volunteer 8.5 billion hours every year. It’s time to show our appreciation for all that they do.

Join thousands of churches around the country in thanking those who make such a Joyful Noise by participating in National Choir Appreciation Sunday…. Read this in full at
http://www.choirappreciationsunday.com/

     SUPER BOWL XLVI (46)
The game, to be played on Feb. 5, 2012, will pit the champions of the AFC and the NFC and will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl_XLVI

     FOR MANY, ‘LOSING MY RELIGION’ ISN’T JUST A SONG: IT’S LIFE
“The real dirty little secret of religiosity in America is that there are so many people for whom spiritual interest, thinking about ultimate questions, is minimal,” says Mark Silk, professor of religion and public life at Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.

For many, clergy and religion experts are dismayed. They fear for souls’ salvation and for the common threads of faith snapping in society. Others see no such dire consequences to a more openly secular America as people not only fess up to being faithless but admit they’re skipping out on spiritual, the cool default word of the decade, as well.

Only now, however, are they turning up in the statistical stream. Researchers have begun asking the kind of nuanced questions that reveal just how big the So What set might be:

* 44% told the 2011 Baylor University Religion Survey they spend no time seeking “eternal wisdom,” and 19% said “it’s useless to search for meaning.”
* 46% told a 2011 survey by Nashville-based evangelical research agency, LifeWay Research, they never wonder whether they will go to heaven.
* 28% told LifeWay “it’s not a major priority in my life to find my deeper purpose.” And 18% scoffed that God has a purpose or plan for everyone.
* 6.3% of Americans turned up on Pew Forum’s 2007 Religious Landscape Survey as totally secular — unconnected to God or a higher power or any religious identity and willing to say religion is not important in their lives…. Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2011-12-25/religion-god-atheism-so-what/52195274/1?csp=Dailybriefing

     SURVEY: UNCHURCHED DO NOT PONDER LIFE’S PURPOSE, AFTERLIFE
Half of the Americans who do not attend church also do not wonder if there is an ultimate purpose for their lives or the possibility that God has a plan for them, according to a recent survey.

The study by LifeWay Research, which surveyed 2,000 US adults, also found that people with even a slight curiosity about a higher purpose to life are more likely to participate in worship services.

About 75% of the adults surveyed indicated that they either agree or strongly agree with the statement, “There is an ultimate purpose and plan for every person’s life.” However, 50% of respondents who never attend worship services disagree with the statement…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/survey-unchurched-do-not-ponder-lifes-purpose-afterlife-65763/

     HELL ON FIRE IN 2011, THANKS TO FILM AND BOOKS
In 2011, hell was a hot topic, from Hollywood to New York Times best-sellers. In fact, this year has seen an incendiary debate about the existence and contents of hell.

The year began with an epic battle between a priest and Satan, with Anthony Hopkins playing a demon-possessed priest in the movie The Rite. The Hollywood glimpse of the underworld came and went without much notice by moviegoers. But then, another form of hell on Earth grabbed the headlines. Judgment Day would soon be upon us.

“It will be a horror story beyond measure,” predicted Harold Camping, the doomsday prophet and founder of Family Radio, in early May…. Read this in full at
http://www.npr.org/2011/12/28/143857948/hell-breaks-loose-in-2011-in-books-and-film

     2012 CHRISTIANITY TODAY BOOK AWARDS
Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality by David Baggett and Jerry L. Walls (Oxford University Press)
Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian (Crossway)
The Colors of Hope: Becoming People of Mercy, Justice, and Love by Richard Dahlstrom (Baker Books)
Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians by Kenneth E. Bailey (IVP Academic)
American Religion: Contemporary Trends by Mark Chaves (Princeton University Press)
Ravished by Beauty: The Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality by Belden C. Lane (Oxford University Press)
Charles Hodge: Guardian of American Orthodoxy by Paul C. Gutjahr (Oxford University Press)
God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide by Thomas Albert Howard (Oxford University Press)
Word Made Global: Stories of African Christianity in New York City by Mark R. Gornik (Eerdmans)
Renovation of the Church: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation by Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken (IVP)
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (Viking Adult)
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way by Michael Horton (Zondervan) …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/january/2012-book-awards.html

     STUDY: RELIGIOUS AMERICANS MORE CONNECTED WITH COMMUNITY THAN NON-RELIGIOUS COUNTERPARTS
People who are religiously active live more involved and connected lives, according to a Pew Research study released on Friday.

The study, titled “The civic and community engagement of religious active Americans,” (http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Social-side-of-religious.aspx) paints a broad picture of religious Americans and finds that involvement in religious organizations usually go hand-in-hand with participation in civic organizations and a positive outlook on their community.

There is something unique about religious and spiritual involved people that contribute to their trust, positive outlook, involvement and engagement in the community,” said Jim Jansen, senior fellow at Pew and the leader of the study.

Pew asked Americans about their membership in 28 different kinds of organizations and clubs. The average person not involved with a religious organization participated in 2.11 groups. That compares to an average of 5.11 groups that religious Americans were involved in…. Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/23/study-religious-americans-more-connected-with-community-than-non-religious-counterparts/

     WHAT ARE YOU THINKING OF?
If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.”
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan, 1952, reprint, HarperCollins, 2001, p. 104

     CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT GROWING QUICKLY WORLDWIDE
According to a recent Pew Research Center report on Global Christianity, 305 million Christians worldwide follow the charismatic movement.

One of the reasons the charismatic movement is expanding … apart from salvation, we experience healing, miracles. The blind see, the lame get up and walk, and the deaf can hear. That attracts a lot of people,” said Samuel Fatoki, who leads the Everlasting Life Christian Center, a 200-member church with his wife, Marcia, who serves as his co-pastor.

The Pew report categorizes charismatic Christians as a subset among non-Pentecostal denominations and includes Christians from each of the major branches: Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant. The movement shares similar beliefs to Pentecostal denominations and similar practices like “divine healing, prophecy and speaking in tongues,” according to the report…. Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/27/charismatic-movement-growing-quickly-worldwide/

     ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER 2ND TEMPLE SEAL IN JERUSALEM
Archeologists have discovered one of the original examples of store credit: A 2,000-year-old clay seal from the Second Temple that was used to show that payment had been made for offerings to the Temple.

The 1cm.-by-1cm. ancient seal was found with the words “Pure for God” written in Aramaic. It is one of the first discoveries that deals with the administrative aspect of the Second Temple, and helps put a human spin on the day-to-day activities of the period, said archeologists involved with the City of David excavations, where the seal was found.

Volunteer students sifting through the dirt excavated from the north side of the Pool of Shiloah discovered the small seal last week.

Due to the richness of the archeological history, every bucket of dirt from the area around the Shiloah spring is sifted before being thrown out. About 30 coins have been found this way since excavations began in the spring five years ago…. Read this in full at
http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Video/Article.aspx?id=250844
Also see video at
http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_t2#/video/world/2011/12/26/natpkg-israel-jewish-seal.cnn

     HAPPY NEW YEAR!
* Colossians 3:13 – New Year’s Resolution: “Forgiveness – Start the New Year with a Clean Heart”
* Matthew 25:34-40 – New Years Resolution” “Serve Others”
* 1 Corinthians 19:20 – New Years Resolution: “Improve Your Physical Health”
* Matthew 14:22-23 – New Year’s Resolution: “Spend Time with God”
* Mark 12:29-31 – New Year’s Resolution: “Loving God = Loving Others” …. Read this in full at
http://www.crossgate.org/happynewyear

     A PRECEDENT FOR THE NEW YEAR (LUKE 2:13-20)
by:J. Hampton Keathley, III
We stand on the threshold of a new year. Most people generally look at the new year as a fresh beginning, as an opportunity to kind of start over, to overcome a habit, or do a better job of something they see as important and that needs improvement. It may be parenting, being a better spouse, losing weight (which, by the way, is the number one resolution according to polls taken). It may be developing different priorities, using our time better, or a whole host of things that people would like to change.

So, we usually hear a lot about New Year’s resolutions, resolutions which are usually broken in a matter of weeks. Many people are very pessimistic about the whole issue of making resolutions, and rightly so, because so many good intentions are followed by a history of past failures.

But the new year is a time to reflect and think about what the past year has brought and what the new year could bring. It is a time to stop and analyze, to take stock of our priorities, values, pursuits, and goals. We need to ask questions like “Who am I, what am I doing with my life? What should I be doing as a Christian with my life and the stewardship God has given me?” After all, according to the Word of God, all of life is a stewardship–a stewardship of our time, talents, treasures, and God’s truth. In other words, since God’s plan and our stewardships revolve around and through the life of His Son, Jesus Christ, we need to each ask “How well am I responding to the Savior and the spiritual life that He has given me?” …. Read this in full at
http://bible.org/article/precedent-new-year-luke-213-20

     CONSIDER
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
Benjamin Franklin

     THE CHURCH OF THE SALVATION ARMY
The Salvation Army is wrapping up its Red Kettle program for the year and hopes to top last year’s record $142 million collected nationwide. The money collected through the Red Kettles, seen only at Christmastime, helps fund all of the Salvation Army’s programs and ministries for the entire year.

I call it the church where the rubber meets the road,” said Lt. Keri Rudd. She and her husband, Lt. Eric Rudd, are ministers at a Salvation Army church in the Los Angeles area.

Rudd said what many people don’t realize is that the Salvation Army is a 365-day-a-year evangelical Christian Church. “But because we do so many social services and family services, people think of us as just that,” she said…. Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/22/the-church-of-the-salvation-army/?hpt=hp_bn1

     GENERATIONAL ROADBLOCKS
by Carol Howard Merritt
What signals are we giving to a new generation that they’re not welcome in our churches? Usually congregations don’t mean to create these obstacles, but that doesn’t keep younger generations from seeing them. What are the signals?

The leadership is from one generation. This is a difficult issue, but it’s the most important one. We have a great deal of democratic representation in our churches, so committees meet to make decisions and get things done. When women didn’t maintain careers outside of the home, this could work well as an intergenerational model. Now a person might need to be retired in order to be an active part of the church leadership. Even if there’s a younger pastor, his or her opinion is easily drowned out by the majority of people around the table. When crucial decisions need to be made about mission, programming, worship style, stewardship, evangelism, we rarely hear what younger generations want or need…. Read this in full at
http://christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2011-12/generational-road-blocks

     BAVARIAN VILLAGERS BUILD ICE CHURCH
Residents of a small Bavarian town have built a church out of ice and snow on the same spot where another ice church was constructed 100 years ago by villagers looking for a place to worship.

The temporary ice church, dubbed “God’s Igloo” by one German newspaper, was blessed by a Catholic priest Wednesday night, Spiegel International Online reports.

Residents had hoped to open the $200,000 church in time for Christmas, but were hampered by unseasonably warm weather and a lack of snow…. Read this in full at
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/12/bavarian-villagers-build-ice-church-/1

     THE HEAVENS PROCLAIM THE GLORY OF THE LORD
by David Clayton
Many people that I have come across say that they believe in God, and might even acknowledge the need to conform to a moral code (quite how they discern it is another matter) but see no reason for ‘organised religion’, which they see as arbitrary creation of mankind. I think that the beauty of the cosmos provides an answer to this question and here’s why.

There is a book (and a film made from book) called the The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed. I show the film regularly to my students. Produced in 2004 by the Discovery Institute and written by Jay Richards and Guillermo Gonzalez, it describes how recent developments in astrophysics impact our sense of the place of the earth in the universe and the chances of life occurring within. It runs through all the conditions necessary for mankind to exist. (For example, we have an atmosphere that both shields us from the harmful part of the solar spectrum and is transparent to the life sustaining part of the same spectrum.) Then it details the chances of all these conditions (and there are dozens) occurring in the same place through the “random” processes that govern the laws of physics and chemistry in the universe. When all these probabilities are taken into account, the mathematics says that the chance of a place existing that can support us is negligible — so low that it is almost certain that there is no other life in the universe at all. The earth is probably the only planet in existence in the universe that can sustain intelligent life. Furthermore, it is surprising given the probable age of the universe that these conditions occurred even once, here on earth…. Read this in full at
http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/the-heavens-proclaim-the-glory-of-god

     NUMBER OF MARRIED ADULTS AT ALL-TIME LOW
A new report by the Pew Research Center says only 51% of adults in the United States are currently married. Compared to 1960, when 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married, this represents a new low for the US and is representative of most other “advanced post-industrial societies.”

If current trends continue, “the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years,” said D’Vera Cohn, senior writer of the study. “Other adult living arrangements — including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood — have all grown more prevalent in recent decades.”

In addition, the report reveals that the number of adults who have never married has almost doubled, from 15% in 1960 to 28% today. The median age at first marriage has also risen from 20.3 to 26.5 for women and 22.8 to 28.7 for men…. Read this in full at
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/number-of-adults-married-at-all-time-low-new-study

     CONSIDER
During the New Year may you have:
enough happiness to keep you sweet – enough trials to keep you strong,
enough sorrow to keep you human – enough hope to keep you happy,
enough failure to keep you humble – enough success to keep you eager,
enough friends to give you comfort – enough wealth to meet your needs,
enough enthusiasm to make you look forward to tomorrow, and
enough determination to make each day better than the day before.
Melvin Newland

     THIS WEEK’S HYMN: FROM GLORY UNTO GLORY
Words: Frances R. Havergal, 1873
Music: Berthold Tours, 1872

From Glory unto Glory!” Be this our joyous song,
As on the King’s own highway we bravely march along!
From Glory unto Glory!” O word of stirring cheer,
As dawns the solemn brightness of one more glad new year.

Our own belovèd Master “hath many things to say.”
Look forward to His teaching, unfolding day by day;
To whispers of His Spirit, to insight clear and sweet,
To blessèd consolation, while resting at His feet.

From Glory unto Glory!” Our faith hath seen the King.
We own His matchless beauty, adoringly we sing;
But He hath more to show us! O thought of untold bliss!
And on we press rejoicing in blessèd hope to this:—

To marvelous outpourings of ‘treasures new and old,’
To largess of His bounty, paid in the King’s own gold,
To glorious expansion of mysteries of grace,
To radiant unveilings of brightness from His face.

From Glory unto Glory!” What great things He hath done,
What wonders He hath shown us, what triumphs He hath won!
We marvel at the record of blessings of the year!
But sweeter still than Christmas rings out His promise clear—

That “greater things,” far greater, our longing eyes shall see!
We can but wait and wonder what “greater things” shall be!
But glorious fulfillments rejoicingly we claim,
While pleading in the power of His prevailing Name.

From Glory unto Glory!” What mighty blessings crown
The lives for which our Lord hath laid His own so freely down!
Omnipotence to keep us, omniscience, too, to guide,
Jehovah’s blessèd presence within us to abide!

The fullness of His blessing encompasseth our way;
The fullness of His promise crowns every brightening day;
The fullness of His glory is beaming from above,
While more and more we realize the fullness of His love.

From Glory unto Glory!” Without a shade of care,
Because the Lord Who loves us will every burden bear;
Because we trust Him fully, and know that He will guide,
And know that He will keep us at His belovèd side.

From Glory unto Glory!” Though tribulation fall,
It cannot touch our treasure, when Christ is All in All!
Whatever lies before us, there can be naught to fear,
For what are pain and sorrow when Jesus Christ is near?

From Glory unto Glory!” O marvels of the Word!
With open face beholding the glory of the Lord,”
We, even we (O wonder!) “are changed into the same,”
The image of our Savior, to glorify His Name.

Abiding in His presence, and walking in the light,
And seeking to do always what is “pleasing in His sight”;
We look to Him to keep us “all glorious within,”
Because the blood of Jesus is cleansing from all sin.

The things behind forgetting, we only gaze before
From Glory unto Glory,” that “shineth more and more,”
Because our Lord hath said it, that such shall be our way,
(O splendor of the promise!) “unto the perfect day.”

From Glory unto Glory!” Our fellow travelers still
Are gathering on the journey! The bright electric thrill
Of quick, instinctive union, more frequent and more sweet,
Shall swiftly pass from heart to heart in true and tender beat.

And closer yet, and closer, the golden bonds shall be,
Enlinking all who love our Lord in pure sincerity;
And wider yet, and wider, shall circling glory glow,
As more and more are taught our God’s mighty love to know.

O ye who seek the Savior, look up in faith and love;
Come up into the sunshine, so bright and warm above!
No longer tread the valley, but, clinging to His hand,
Ascend the shining summits and view the glorious land.

Our harp notes should be sweeter, our trumpet tones more clear,
Our anthems ring so grandly that all the world must hear!
O royal be our music, for who hath cause to sing
Like choruses of saved ones, the children of the King?

O, let our adoration for all that He hath done
Peal out beyond the heavens, while voice and life are one;
And let our consecration be real, and deep, and true.
O even now our hearts bow, and joyful vows renew!

In full and glad surrender we give ourselves to Thee,
Thine utterly, and only, and evermore to be!
O Son of God, who lov’st us, we will be Thine alone,
Our being and possessions, shall henceforth be Thine own!”

Now onward, ever onward, “from strength to strength” we go,
While “grace for grace” abundant shall from His fullness flow,
To glory’s full fruition, from glory’s foretaste here,
Until His very presence crown happiest new year.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/f/r/fromglor.htm

     ON PRAYER
Heavenly Father, for this coming year
Just one request I bring.
Teach me to do the thing that pleases You.
I want to know Your guiding voice,
To walk with you each day.
Heavenly Father,
Make me swift to hear and ready to obey;
And thus the year I now begin
A happy year will be,
If I am seeking just to do
The thing that pleases You.”

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

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!

PERSONAL
Marital harmony
Family unity
Children saved
Faithful pastor
Spirit-filled church
Real friendships
Relatives redeemed
Educational benefits
Recreational time
Fulfilling career
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will

FINANCIAL
Better Jobs
Raises or bonuses
Benefits
Sales & commissions
Business Growth
Settlements
Estates & inheritances
Investment increase
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).

[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know if you’d like us to add you to our prayer chain 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.

Books, Music & More!
http://www.ChristianConnectionBooks.com

Get your domain name here!
http://www.GoGlobalDomains.com

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why. 

Christianity Today Top 10 News Stories of 2011
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/january/top-news-2011.html

The Institute on Religion & Democracy Top Church News Stories of 2011
http://www.theird.org/page.aspx?pid=2213

TIME magazine Top Religion Stories of 2011
http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2035319_2034971_2034944,00.html

Top 2011 Religion Stories That Weren’t
http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/culture/5519/top_2011_religion_stories_that_weren%E2%80%99t

The Year in Review by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-year-in-review-the-ten-leading-news-stories-of-2011-65887/

Worldshapin (compare countries through their shape)
http://www.worldshap.in/#/03/BR/

All links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply endorsement by this ministry. 

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your e-mail 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.) 

Happy New Year!
Min. 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 to men 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 Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, frank@frankcoleman.com if you’d like to participate in a men’s discipleship program. 
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.org/  

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Get Archives of all past issues here:
http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/connections/archives_all.html

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