Connecting man to man to God
For week of February 19, 2012
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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“Who will separate us from Christ’s love? Will we be separated by trouble, or distress, or harassment, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us.”
Romans 8:35,37 (CEB)
“God is here. Wherever we are, God is here. There is no place, there can be no place, where He is not.”
A. W. Tozer
DON’T GET COMFORTABLE THIS LENT
by Bryan Cones
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,” says the Gospel of Mark to open Lent this year. Unlike in Matthew and Luke’s accounts, however, Mark’s Jesus is not invited to turn stones into bread to satisfy his hunger; there is no clever repartee between Jesus and the devil. Mark is content to tell us that Jesus, like every other human being, had to choose between the kingdom of God and that of Caesar. Jesus, of course, gets it right: “The kingdom of God is at hand,” he proclaims from the desert. “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Mark’s unspecified temptations do us all a favor at the start of these 40 days: None of us will be tempted to turn rocks into food or fling ourselves from the church steeple. At the same time the invitation to be someone other than children of God’s kingdom is no less powerful than it was for Jesus — and our contemporary adversaries no less clever. But while Satan offered Jesus power and prestige, our modern temptations seem hellbent on keeping us quietly content…. Read this in full at
BAPTIST ETHICIST: THERE IS NO GLOBAL WAR ON CHRISTIANS
A Baptist ethicist accused Newsweek magazine of feeding fear with a cover story headlined “The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World.”
“The narrative of a global war on Christians is a cousin of the myth about a war on Christmas and the myth of a drip of persecution of Christians in America,” Robert Parham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics wrote in a Feb. 13 article on EthicsDaily.com.
“For whatever reason, some US Christians need to think and feel that they are persecuted,” Parham said. “Maybe it makes them believe they are more akin to figures of faith in the Bible.”
The Newsweek article was written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somalian-born former member of the Dutch parliament who now works for the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. Ali said media portrayals of Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants against tyranny in Arab Spring overlook a “rising genocide” of Christians in the Muslim world who are being murdered because of their faith.
Ali cited violence directed against Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan and Iran as evidence of a “global war on Christians” that is not coordinated by any Islamist group but rather “a spontaneous expression of anti-Christian animus by Muslims that transcends cultures, regions, and ethnicities.”
“A fair-minded assessment of recent events and trends leads to the conclusion that the scale and severity of Islamophobia pales in comparison with the bloody Christophobia currently coursing through Muslim-majority nations from one end of the globe to the other,” Ali wrote. “The conspiracy of silence surrounding this violent expression of religious intolerance has to stop. Nothing less than the fate of Christianity — and ultimately of all religious minorities — in the Islamic world is at stake.”
Parham said there is no doubt that Christians have been brutalized by Muslims around the world but it isn’t true that Christians are always the victims and Muslims always the perpetrators. On top of being false, Parham said, those narratives have a theological problem in that they misunderstand human sinfulness…. Read this in full at
REPORT CALLS MUSLIM TERRORISM A ‘MINUSCULE THREAT’
The threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism is “tiny” and often exaggerated by government officials, a leading anti-terrorism expert said in a report released Feb. 8.
Charles Kurzman, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a researcher at the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, said 20 Muslim Americans were indicted for violent terrorist plots last year, down from 26 in 2010.
Kurzman’s report, “Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9/11,” said that compared to the 14,000 murders in the US last year, the potential for Muslim Americans to take up terrorism is “tiny.”
In the 10 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 193 Muslim Americans have been indicted in terrorist plots, or fewer than 20 per year, Kurzman said…. Read this in full at
WHAT’S SO RADICAL ABOUT LOVING MUSLIMS?”
by John Becker
What happens when Christians step out in radical love and find that their efforts of bridge-building, reconciliation, and peacemaking are effective not only in engaging Muslims but also in giving definition and beauty to their own faith? …. Read this in full at
NEW YORK KNICKS’ JEREMY LIN DUBBED THE ‘TAIWANESE TEBOW’
New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin’s underdog story and outspoken evangelical faith have some sportswriters dubbing him the “Taiwanese Tebow.”
But while Lin and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow share similar Christian convictions, Lin’s rise to stardom is even more miraculous.
Just a few weeks ago, the Harvard University graduate was buried on the bench and crashing on friends’ couches. Stadium security guards mistook Lin for a team trainer.
After injuries to teammates, though, Lin was inserted into the starting lineup. The Knicks have promptly won five straight games, with their new point guard leading the way, sending the New Yorkers and Asian-Americans across the country into a frenzy of “Linsanity.” …. Read this in full at
“LINSANITY, TEBOW-MANIA & THE EVANGELISTIC WITNESS”
by Bryan Cribb
Have you caught Linsanity yet? Unless you live life with sports blinders, you probably have at least noticed the meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin, starting point guard of the New York Knicks as of only a week or so ago.
On Valentine’s evening, this improbable hero again amazed the watching world. Lin drained a last-second 3-pointer to win the sixth-straight game for the Knicks since Lin — a perpetual benchwarmer for his brief NBA career and only the fourth NBA player ever from Harvard — took over as team leader. Thrust into the starting lineup due to injuries to more high-profile and highly paid players, Lin has set the ever-combustible media market in the Big Apple ablaze. The Asian American, who until recently went unrecognized even by Knicks security guards, now has spawned the highest TV ratings in recent memory for the team and galvanized the city.
What makes Lin even more intriguing, however, is his forthright Christian faith…. Read this in full at
LIN IS A RUNNING, JUMPING, SHOOTING CONTRADICTION
by David Brooks
Jeremy Lin is anomalous in all sorts of ways. He’s a Harvard grad in the NBA, an Asian-American man in professional sports. But we shouldn’t neglect the biggest anomaly. He’s a religious person in professional sports.
We’ve become accustomed to the faith-driven athlete and coach, from Billy Sunday to Tim Tebow. But we shouldn’t forget how problematic this is. The moral ethos of sport is in tension with the moral ethos of faith, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim.
The moral universe of modern sport is oriented around victory and supremacy. The sports hero tries to perform great deeds in order to win glory and fame. It doesn’t really matter whether he has good intentions. His job is to beat his opponents and avoid the oblivion that goes with defeat…. Read this in full at
SHOULD CHRISTIANS COMPETE?
by Clare De Graaf
“Do you think Jesus would have played hockey?”
That’s one of the questions I posed to a young money manager as we were driving to another state. Tom had played hockey at a Christian college and is one of the kindest men I know. But, he had been telling me about his son’s team and his coach, who didn’t discourage the boys from “getting physical”. So that began a long discussion on the nature of competition and the true source of our competitive spirit.
So, I asked another question, “Do you think angels compete with one another?” Do angels compete?
“I doubt it,” said Tom. “Why is that?” I asked. “I can’t imagine angels jockeying for positions to get noticed more by God or to get ahead of each other just to see who’s best.” “Why can’t you imagine that,” I asked. “Because there’s no sin in heaven.” Bingo!
Now before all you red meat loving sports fans, decide to egg my house or post a comment immediately about the benefits of competitive sports or competition in general, please hear me out. There are plenty of wonderful examples like Tebow, sports evangelists and successful business executives who have used their achievements to great advantage for the kingdom. And competition does make companies and economies grow and prosper. My concern is not for the macro good, but for the potential for sin that I believe is at the heart of our drive as individuals to compete with others…. Read this in full at
LIVING A LIFE THAT STANDS OUT
“The apostle Peter’s ‘be prepared to give an answer to everyone’ sounds very much like the apostle Paul’s ‘know how to answer everyone.’ It is as if the two of them got together on this issue to make sure they told their congregations the same thing: be ready and willing to answer those who do not yet believe.
is] worth noting that both apostles’ exhortations to speak about Christ appear in the context of instructions about living godly lives. [Peter writes,] ‘Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing.’ (1 Peter 3:8-9)
“The life out of which we are to speak [about Christ] is not simply a moralistic life. It is a life of humility, compassion, non-retaliation, and so on: in other words, a life of love. Christians will not stand out in this world simply by being ‘nice’ and ‘ethical,’ but they will if they live the life described here, the life epitomized by the Savior himself.
“The point is simple: we are to live lives worth questioning and then offer answers worth hearing.”
John Dickson in The Best-Kept Secret of Christian Mission
A FATHER’S PRAYER
by Thom S. Rainer
The year was 1985. My third son, Jess, was five months old. His older brothers, Sam and Art, were five and three years old respectively. My wife, Nellie Jo, and I were exhausted. She, in particular, seemed never to rest with the demands of being a stay-at-home mom to three preschool boys. I was sleeping little as well, dealing with the demands of being a full-time seminary student, serving as pastor of a small church, and working an additional thirty hours a week at a bank.
I decided to take a break in my studies one evening and picked up a magazine. I was captured by a reprint of a prayer by General Douglas MacArthur. The prayer was MacArthur’s prayer for his son. Throughout the prayer, he repeated the phrase “Give me a son.” He would then expand on how he hoped God would shape his son.
The prayer captivated me. I was concerned about my sons. I wasn’t sure I had the mettle and godliness to be the type of father I needed to be. I loved those boys so much, and I had been pleading with God to protect them and to shape them.
But in one of those moments that is both indefinable and rare, I sensed that God was telling me something very clearly. My first prayer should not be about my sons, but about me. God gave parents the role of shaping and influencing the lives of their children. I knew that I was the leader God had placed over our family. I needed the help. I needed the prayers for me…. Read this in full at
FOCUS ON THE FAMILY’S PRESIDENT ON GROUP’S WORK
Jim Daly took over as president of Focus on the Family, one of the most prominent Christian evangelical organizations, in 2005. On NPR recently, Daly discussed his work, the organization’s views on divisive issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and immigration reform…. Read and listen to this interview in full at
QUEBEC STUDENTS MUST TAKE ETHICS-RELIGION COURSE
Canada’s top court rejected an appeal Feb. 17 from parents in Quebec who sought the right to keep their children out of an ethics and religious culture program taught in the province’s schools.
The program, which was introduced in 2008 to elementary and high schools by the provincial Education Ministry, replaced religion classes with a curriculum covering all major faiths found in Quebec culture, including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and aboriginal beliefs.
“Exposing children to a comprehensive presentation of various religions without forcing the children to join them does not constitute an indoctrination of students that would infringe the freedom of religion of L and J [the appellants],” Madam Justice Marie Deschamps wrote in the main ruling…. Read this in full at
TIME FOR A REALISTIC APPRAISAL OF YOUR LIFE?
by Charles R. Swindoll
When was the last time you took stock of your life? I’m not referring to the resolutions you made last month. Nor do I mean the fries you ate last week or how many push-ups you did this morning. I’m talking about a realistic appraisal of your life … your future … your legacy.
It’s probably been a while. Self-examination isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s revealing, and other times, it can be downright convicting. But we’re called to be good stewards of all God gives us, including our days.
I was surprised to learn that many financial advisors urge clients to plan for living to age ninety. Do the math — for many of us, the years behind outnumber the years ahead. So today, will you pull out of the fast lane long enough to ask yourself a few hard questions?
* Can I honestly say I’m in the center of God’s will?
* Is my life leading toward a satisfying and meaningful future?
* In light of eternity, am I making consistent investments in God’s causes and for His glory?
I urge you not to fear being stretched. Ministry that costs little, accomplishes little.
“Jesus said, “Go,” but the church through selfishness and indifference has refused to obey. We try to substitute “write,” “send,” or “give,” for “go.” We try to salve our conscience by turning over the task of “going” to someone else and giving languidly for their support. Of course, we must send where we cannot go. But because we can’t go across the world does not excuse us for refusing to go across the street.”
R. C. Foster
THE 80:20 RATIO: THE SECRET TO APPRECIATING YOUR MARRIAGE
by Emerson Eggerichs
In the book of Corinthians, Paul warns us of the responsibilities, involvements, and, yes, the troubles that come with marriage. When I quote 1 Corinthians 7:28 (But those who marry will have trouble in this life (NCV) at our conferences, many in the audience chuckle, as if they understand perfectly what Paul is saying.
Something else that is tied to this idea of trouble in marriage is what I call “the 80:20 ratio.” According to this concept, around 80 percent of the time, your marriage can be categorized as good or even great while around 20 percent of the time, you may have troubles of one kind or another. I arbitrarily chose 20 percent to make my point. For some couples it can be less or it can be more. It depends on many factors and can vary from week to week.
I cannot put a precise number on the amount of trouble you may have in your marriage, but what I do know is that God does not promise a fulfilling, trouble-free relationship 100 percent of the time. Disagreements and misunderstandings happen. Stress comes from without and within…. Read this in full at
IN USA, VERY RELIGIOUS HAVE HIGHER WELLBEING ACROSS ALL FAITHS
Very religious Americans of all major faiths have higher overall wellbeing than do their respective counterparts who are moderately religious or nonreligious. This relationship, based on an analysis of more than 676,000 interviews as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, is statistically significant after controlling for major demographic and regional variables…. Read this in full at
VERSE TO PONDER
“This is the message that you heard from the beginning: love each other.”
1 John 3:11 (CEB)
“Preach the gospel everyday; if necessary, use words.”
Francis of Assisi (attributed)
ARE YOU A REAL CHRISTIAN?
Are you are Christian? No, I mean a real Christian.
Can you tell me which is the 34th book of the Old Testament? Are you able to recite the full text of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed? Do you assent to all of the 39 articles? If the answer in any of these instances is no, I regret to inform you that you are clearly not the real deal and should stop pretending otherwise. I satirize, but only for effect.
Research for the newly-formed Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason has revealed (drum role) that not all UK Christians are really Christian.
The study, conducted by Ipsos/ MORI found that fewer than three in 10 (28%) people who called themselves Christian in the 2011 Census say they are so “because they believe in the teachings of Christianity”, and only half have attended a church service (outside special occasions) in the previous 12 months.
In other words, there are a lot of nominal Christians in Britain. Who would have thought it? …. Read this in full at
JOHN PIPER ON MEN IN MINISTRY, AND THE MASCULINITY OF CHRISTIANITY
by Ben Witherington
John Piper recently addressed a conference on the ‘Masculinity of Christianity.’ He is concerned, as are other Reformed writers and thinkers, for instance some in the Gospel Coalition, with what is perceived to be the stripping of male dignity and honor in our culture. He seeks to rub some healing balm in the wounds of men who have been assailed about their male chauvinism and macho approaches to women and life in general, especially in this case, men who are ministers. But the problem with the church is not strong women, but weak men who can’t handle strong women, much less tolerate women in ministry. So, they have to provide rationales for these views. And to do so requires all sorts of exegetical gymnastics, ignoring of contexts, and even dubious theology and anthropology…. Read this in full at
YOU’VE HEARD OF EVANGELICALS, BUT WHO ARE THEY?
by Peggy Fletcher Stack, Religion News Service
Evangelicals have been in the news a lot lately, from the Denver Broncos’ Tim Tebow and his take-a-knee prayers to the Texas pastor and his wife who spent 24 hours in bed preaching the virtues of sex in Christian marriages.
Mitt Romney is struggling to gain evangelical support for his presidential bid, and Rick Santorum — a Catholic — won the blessing of more than 100 evangelical pastors gathered at a Texas ranch.
So who are these Christians? What do they have in common and how are they different from other believers? Even famed preacher Billy Graham wasn’t sure of the answer.
“Actually, that’s a question, I’d like to ask somebody, too,” Graham told religion reporter Terry Mattingly in a 1987 interview. “The lines (have) become blurred…. You go all the way from the extreme fundamentalists to the extreme liberals and, somewhere in between, there are the evangelicals.”
So here’s a primer about these religious types, their history, faith, and politics: …. Read this in full at
DEAL SERIOUSLY WITH VIOLENT BIBLICAL TEXTS, HISTORIAN SAYS
Before characterizing Islam as inherently violent based on selected passages in the Quran, Christians should consider violent verses in the Holy Bible, historian Philip Jenkins told a recent gathering at Baylor University.
“Most religions have somewhat bloody scriptures, and the worst thing we can do is forget they are there,” said Jenkins, who recently joined Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion while jointly serving as a professor at Penn State University.
Jenkins, author of books including Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses, said Christians who view violent texts in the Old Testament as irrelevant to modern faith need to “exorcise the spirit of Marcion,” a second-century heretic who believed that Jesus Christ is savior but rejected the wrathful Hebrew God of the Old Testament.
Jenkins said Christians throughout history have handled passages like God’s blessing of genocide against Canaanites in the Promised Land in the Book of Joshua in different ways. Violent passages have been used to justify actions from the Crusades to the modern Christian Identity movement. Other Christians, he said, censor them by never talking about them in sermons or Sunday school lessons.
Some theologians soften the stories by spiritualizing them, turning them into parables or extended allegories. That approach, Jenkins quipped, allows readers to imagine, “No actual Canaanites were harmed in the making of these Holy Scriptures.” …. Read this in full at
LIFEWAY TRUSTEES VOTE TO CONTINUE SELLING ’11 NIV
Trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources voted to continue selling the new NIV Bible in LifeWay stores, approved a new vice president for its largest division and elected new board officers.
Meeting Feb. 13-14 at LifeWay offices in downtown Nashville, trustees heard a report from a special task force appointed to follow up on a non-binding resolution approved by the 2011 Southern Baptist Convention that requested LifeWay consider not selling the New International Version (NIV) 2011 Bible in their stores.
Committee chairman Adam Greenway, a member of First Baptist Church in Mt. Washington, Ky., told the board “vast amounts of scholarly research and other relevant information was gathered and studied … and a number of subject matter experts addressed the task force.”
Greenway said LifeWay received support for continuing to carry the 2011 NIV from R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Jimmy Draper, former president of LifeWay; George Guthrie, professor of Bible at Union University; and Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation, which translated the new NIV…. Read this in full at
HOW DOES A CHURCH SERVICE INTRODUCE PEOPLE TO JESUS?
Meeting physical needs is crucial, but it rarely leads to deep and lasting change. Integrating social action and evangelism is essential for reaching the whole person, physically and spiritually. Leadership Journal asked 7 pastors and ministry leaders to tell how they’re serving their communities in ways that result in spiritual transformation…. Read this in full at
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS MULL WHETHER ‘SOUTHERN’ STILL FITS
On Feb. 20, Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright is expected to give his recommendation on a possible name change to the denomination’s top leaders. That recommendation is likely to be debated at the Southern Baptists’ annual convention in June in New Orleans.
For a denomination that has used the same name for nearly 170 years, a change is an involved process. First, there has to be the will to do so. And on that, the jury is still out.
Formed in 1845 when Baptists split into Northern and Southern branches over slavery and other issues, the Southern branch kept its name, while Northern Baptists eventually became the American Baptist Churches USA.
The slavery issue, says the Rev. Jay Cook, pastor of First Baptist Church of Pascagoula, Ala., has long been addressed in the denomination’s history. “Southern Baptists have stated unequivocally that we are sorry for any role we played in any way with slavery. It was abhorrent.” In fact, a widely respected New Orleans pastor, the Rev. Fred Luter, is the odds-on favorite to be elected this summer as the first African-American president of the SBC…. Read this in full at
CHURCH COMMUNICATION HERO: C.S. LEWIS
by Erin Williams
I’m probably not alone when I say I started reading C.S. Lewis in college. I was a freshman at a secular university taking a handful of honors liberal arts classes. The professors were brilliant, and the books they had us read were tough, but fascinating. I was learning about Plato, western civilization in medieval times, and the cognitive development of our human brains. Every day I left class feeling invigorated, on top of the world…
Meanwhile, church was a bore. I went to services alone, the songs were cheesy and our 60+ preacher gave a sermon each week that was only slightly tweaked from the week before.
C.S. Lewis is who gave me — and countless others — permission to think about my faith. To ask questions. To wonder what all the beauty, truth and goodness in the world had to do with God and with me. Lewis wrote stimulating apologetics, poetry, chronicles about magical creatures, letters to dear friends, an autobiography and so much more — all to challenge and build up faith…. Read this in full at
FLAMING TRUTH: RECALLING FRANCIS SCHAEFFER’S CHALLENGE
by Chuck Colson and Timothy George
Historic Christianity, biblical Christianity, believes that Christianity is not just doctrinal truth, but flaming truth—true to what is there, true to the great final environment, the infinite-personal God.” Thus said the great prophet of the 20th century, Francis Schaeffer, whose 100th birthday we celebrate this year.
Central casting in Hollywood could not have produced a better character for the prophet’s role: his trademark knickers, often straggling hair, goatee, and intense scowl. His voice may have been shrill at times, but his words were piercing. Those words spoke of what he called “true truth,” and warned the church against succumbing to relativism, which—even back in the 1970s—had conquered academia and infiltrated broader society.
Schaeffer, with laser-like precision, hit upon the most fundamental issue of our day: The denial of “true truth” was not some passing academic fad. In both its post-Kantian and postmodernist garb, this denial detaches language from reality and leads to the kind of moral and spiritual relativism that is the current coin of contemporary discourse, especially in Europe and North America…. Read this in full at
75TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Child Evangelism Fellowship (http://www.cefonline.com/), the largest ministry to children in the world. Established during the Great Depression in Berkley, California, by the tireless efforts of Mr. Jesse I. Overholtzer, a farmer and one-time Plymouth Brethren pastor, CEF now has a presence in 176 countries and reaches millions of children each year thanks to 2700 CEF workers.
The burden for children that took hold of Mr. Overholtzer, affectionately known as “Mr. O,” was no doubt influenced by his own childhood experiences in California. At the age of 12, he had many important questions about the nature of man, sin and guilt, and his relationship with God. His questions went unanswered because he was considered too young to understand theology, a commonly held view at the time. Years later, after a rebellious youth and his adult conversion to Christianity, he happened to read a quote by the great British preacher, Charles Spurgeon, who said, “A child five if properly instructed, can as readily believe and be regenerated as anyone.” Captivated by this notion, he decided to test it. He found that by explaining the gospel clearly in terms children could understand many came to faith. Of those children, the positive changes in their behavior and character even led some of their parents to Christ…. Read this in full at
NEW BRAND, NEW INITIATIVES FOR CHRISTIANITY TODAY
Christianity Today International, the nonprofit organization that serves over 2.5 million readers every month through award-winning content in publications and Web resources such as Christianity Today magazine and Leadership Journal, has rebranded as Christianity Today — a global media ministry.
The rebranding, which includes a new visual identity and the launch of a new ministry website, ChristianityToday.org, reflects the powerful history of the flagship magazine, Christianity Today, and creates a clear connecting point for all of the ministry’s brands…. Read this in full at
BOOK REVIEW: JUST A MINUTE BY WESS STAFFORD
by Janey DeMeo
Ever feel overwhelmed by the dilemma of the world’s hurting children? Whether from neglect, poverty, sickness, the statistics on child suffering are daunting. It’s tempting to look the other way and do nothing, mostly because we feel inadequate to do anything useful. But anyone can help a child. All it takes is a minute.
In his latest book, Just A Minute (Moody Publishers, Jan. 1, 2012), Compassion International CEO, Wess Stafford, shows how one minute can count in big ways to a little person.
Just A Minute is a compilation of true stories and testimonies of people-ordinary people, celebrities and historical figures-whose lives were impacted for good or bad by someone who took “just a minute” to build them up or tear them down through words, action or attitude. The author also showcases the immeasurable reward experienced by those who pour encouragement, godly direction, affection, inspiration, hope . . . into the heart of a child…. Read this in full at
OUR ‘FAVORITE SINS’, MOST COMMON TEMPTATIONS
With more than 30 years of pastoral experience, Todd D. Hunter – author of the new book, Our Favorite Sins: The Sins We Commit And How You Can Quit (Thomas Nelson, March 2012) – knows that most people, himself included, struggle every day with temptation.
In fact, according to exclusive research conducted for the book by the Barna Group:
* 60% of Americans fall prey to worry and anxiety
* 60% get stuck in habits of procrastination
* 55% are overwhelmed by the desire to overeat
* 44% overuse technology and social media
* 41% succumb to laziness
While not numerically as many, Americans also deal with lust, lying, cheating, and anger, among other things. In fact, when last faced with one of these temptations, 59% of those surveyed did nothing to resist. Of those that did, most struggled using ineffective means…. Read this in full at
WMBI-AM 1110 IS THE ONLY SPANISH-SPEAKING CHRISTIAN RADIO STATION IN CHICAGO
Moody Radio launched the only fully operational Christian Spanish-speaking radio station in Chicago on Monday, Feb. 6. With the tagline, “Compartiendo Esperanza. Siempre Contigo.” (Sharing Hope. With You Always.), Radio Moody Chicago will broadcast daily on WMBI-AM 1110.
“There are approximately two million Hispanics living in Chicago and with no Spanish-speaking, Bible-based Christian radio station serving them, we believe this station and its programming will fill a significant need for this community,” said Collin Lambert, vice president of Moody Radio. “We are excited about this initiative and look forward to hearing from listeners how Moody is ministering to them.” …. Read this in full at
WORLD’S BIGGEST CONGREGATION
There are big churches, and then there’s the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea. It’s the mother of megachurches, with the largest congregation in the world. On a typical day 200,000 will attend one of seven services along with another two or three hundred thousand watching them on TV in adjoining buildings or satellite branches. While some other churches may be losing members, this one just keeps growing. The main sanctuary holds 21,000 worshipers packed to the rafters seven times every Sunday. Each service has its own orchestra, its own choir, its own pastor. There are hundreds of assistants. There need to be. Each service is translated into 16 different languages for visitors. Karen Kim is a pastor with the church’s international division. She says she was shocked when she first moved here from Australia…. Read and see this in full at
TURKISH CHRISTIANS SUBJECT TO DISCRIMINATION, ATTACKS, REPORT SAYS
Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that despite some promising developments, Christians in Turkey continue to suffer attacks from private citizens, discrimination by lower-level government officials and vilification in both school textbooks and news media, according to a study by a Protestant group.
CDN says that in its annual “Report on Human Rights Violations,” released in January, the country’s Association of Protestant Churches notes mixed indicators of improvement but states that there is a “root of intolerance” in Turkish society toward adherents of non-Islamic faiths. “The removal of this root of intolerance is an urgent problem that still awaits to be dealt with,” the report states…. Read this in full at
INFLUENCE OF US CONSTITUTION DECLINING GLOBALLY
The US Constitution used to be the model other nations used when writing or updating their own constitutions. That influence has declined dramatically, according to a new study.
The influence of the US Constitution on other constitutions around the globe peaked in the 1970s and has declined since then.
“The sad irony is around the bicentennial of the US Constitution, the late 1980s, just when the Constitution turns 200, you begin to see a real drop off in similarity [with other constitutions], and in the 1990s it becomes a nosedive,” said David Law, professor of law and political science at Washington University, in an interview with The Christian Post.
Law co-authored the study, “The Declining Influence of the United States Constitution,” with Mila Versteeg, associate professor of law at University of Virginia School of Law, for the New York University Law Review.
The main reason for the decline, according to Law, is that the text of the document is old and there are other, better, examples of well-written constitutions that nations can emulate…. Read and see this in full at
“Few kindnesses are as warmly welcomed as sincere, objective interest.”
Norman G. Shidle
VERSE TO PONDER
“This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins.”
1 John 4:10 (CEB)
THIS WEEK’S HYMN: NEAR THE CROSS
Words: Fanny Crosby, 1869
Music: W. Howard Doane
Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain
Free to all, a healing stream
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.
>from NetHymnal at
“I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed.”
Henry Matthey, on the night he was robbed, prayed this prayer
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).
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
I’ll add your name to the list for the time you’ll be away.]
Are you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and I’ll put it in this newsletter.
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SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.
Lenten Bible Reading PowerPoint Slides
LifeWay’s Online Bible Library
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.)
Who stopped the payment on my reality check?
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
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 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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